Navantia Chairman Ricardo Domínguez has conveyed his public congratulations to the company Chief Operating Officer (COO), Gonzalo Mateo-Guerrero, for his upcoming appointment to Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) and has thanked him for his dedication, professionalism and leadership in his long career in Navantia.

As of September, Gonzalo Mateo-Guerrero will leave Navantia and step into his new role as COO in SAMI, a company that was established in 2017 and aims to become one of the top 25 defence companies in the world by 2030.

“I want to wish Gonzalo all kinds of success in his new responsibility. Navantia has grown and become an international company thanks, in large part, to its performance and that of the teams he has led. Gonzalo Mateo-Guerrero has played a key role in the opening of new markets and new business areas, as well as in the transformation of Navantia into a company with the latest technology in its products and also in its management. His experience and his vision of business will undoubtedly be a first-class asset for SAMI, a partner company and friend of Navantia with whom we trust to consolidate our relationship”, declared Ricardo Domínguez.

SAMI, which is owned by the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, aims to localise 50% of total government spending by 2030. SAMI commenced operations in 2018 and has signed a number of collaboration agreements with leading European and US companies. In 2019, Navantia partnered with SAMI and created a joint-venture to develop the combat system for the corvettes that the Spanish company builds for the Royal Navy of Saudi Arabia.

Gonzalo Mateo-Guerrero Alcázar (Madrid, 1972) joined the Spanish public shipyard Bazan, one of the companies that later on merged in Navantia, in 2000. After the merger process that gave rise to the current company, in 2006 he moved to Melbourne, Australia, to set up the company’s delegation in this country, first a commercial office and then a subsidiary, obtaining contracts worth €1,500m that represented a leap in the internationalisation of the Spanish company.

Between 2012 and 2017 he was Commercial Director of Navantia, a period in which commercial delegations were set up in Turkey, the Persian Gulf, Latin America and India. International contracts for €4,000m were negotiated (in Turkey, Australia and Saudi Arabia), in addition to the opening of new markets in businesses then new to Navantia, such as offshore wind energy.

Since 2017, Gonzalo Mateo-Guerrero has been Navantia COO and has participated in the definition and application of the Strategic Plan 2018-2022. He has also reorganised the Operations Department, focusing on the client. He has also supervised the activities of the different shipyards (Ría de Ferrol, Bahía de Cádiz and Cartagena) and the main construction programmes, currently the S-80 submarine, the F-110 frigates, the corvettes for Saudi Arabia and the logistics ships for Australia.

“After more than 20 years in Navantia, I only have words to thank the company, its people and all the persons that I had the pleasure to work with and learn during these years. Navantia’s management team is formed by great professionals that, together with the state-of-the-art projects currently being developed, secure the future of this great company. Now, I start a new stage in my professional life with SAMI, fully committed and eager to tackle new challenges, in a leading, world-class company focused in technology and growth, being one of the key elements of the Vision 2030 plan, the backbone of the country’s modernisation plan” declared Gonzalo Mateo-Guerrero.