General Manager - Middle East & Africa (MEA)



Dubai - United Arab Emirates · United Arab Emirates
Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2024

At Cambly, we're navigating through a period of significant transformation: Generative AI is finally beginning to unlock the promise of advanced education, and internet-native marketplaces have enabled access to education in ways we have only begun to explore. This is a pivotal moment to join our team, offering a unique experience that blends Silicon Valley's innovative spirit with the Middle East's deep cultural richness, and rapidly advancing economies. This role presents an unparalleled opportunity to lead our efforts through global change, growth, and leverage an entrepreneurial mindset to own the business for one of our most strategically important regions.

The Position

We are on the lookout for a visionary leader who harbors a deep passion for education, believes in the benefits of a global perspective (or worldview), and possesses the agility to navigate the complexities of the current market landscape. As the General Manager for the Middle East & Africa, you won’t just lead; you will inspire and foster innovation within our team. This position is ideal for someone who thrives in dynamic environments and is proficient in pivoting strategies to execute and maintain sustained engagement and adaptability.

Your mandate will be to make Cambly the dominant Advanced English Language learning platform in the Middle East, and in-time, Africa. You will inherit a business that touches tens of thousands of users’ lives every day, as well as a world class team. You will have a strategic overview of the entire Middle East and prioritize our efforts in every market, reaching every English learner in the region. In addition, you will lead our efforts to ‘land-and-expand’ into Africa.

You will lead a dedicated Strategy & Operations team that will bring you insights from the market, build the strategy, and get to the lowest level of detail to execute plans rapidly. You will partner directly with, and influence Product, Engineering, Analytics, Marketing, Finance, and Support leadership teams to marshall the essential investments for your region. Your leadership will ensure that Cambly is the number-one choice for English learners in the regions.

In this role, you will have the chance to profoundly impact the lives of English learners across the Middle East and Africa and in doing so transform the lives of people in every country.

You will be responsible for the following:

  • Plan, execute, and lead our vision of reaching every English learner in the Middle East and Africa with Cambly’s high-quality English language education.

  • Be customer-obsessed by observing and listening to your users and devising strategies to solve their problems.

  • Own the P&L for the regions with an eye to guardrails like CAC and LTV

  • Collaborate with the Product, Engineering, Analytics, Finance and the C-Suite to identify and execute new growth strategies, set ambitious growth targets, and ensure new initiatives to achieve those targets.

  • Partner with Brand and Performance Marketing to allocate your country’s marketing budget across different key online and offline marketing channels in a cost-efficient way to maximize growth

  • Act as the legal representative of Cambly in each country, ensuring each one operates efficiently, and complies with local laws and regulations.

  • Hire, retain, and develop our local team.

  • Developing a well-defined point of view on the competitive landscape in the Middle East and African markets and positioning Cambly’s value proposition compellingly.

  • Make resource allocation decisions across the Middle East and Africa, whether to launch a new country, or double-down and drive growth in an existing one


  • Bachelor's degree in Business, Marketing, Finance, or a related field

  • 10+ years experience in a related field to Cambly's business (EdTech, consumer internet, consumer marketplace, or app-based solution)

  • 5+ years of people leadership experience, bringing inspirational qualities and know-how to help individuals reach their full potential

  • Track record of bridging the local market with a multinational company’s global headquarters

  • Strong business acumen and analytical skills in consumer behaviors and related marketing strategies and tactics

  • Ability to make sound business decisions based on multiple options/scenarios and ability to evaluate performance based on data

  • Entrepreneurial mentality, creative thinking, and an ability to set and execute a strategy autonomously with no playbook for success

  • A passion for learning and teaching and excitement about creating opportunities for English learners

  • Fluent in English and native in Arabic

About Cambly:

Cambly was founded in 2012 by Kevin Law and Sameer Shariff, two former Google engineers who decided to start a company to help people around the world to study English. Cambly has native teachers from countries like the United States, Canada and England online 24 hours a day for students to instantly connect to private classes via video chat. The service can be accessed through the computer, Android or iOS applications. Today, the service is used in more than 190 countries around the world. Cambly was first backed by the Silicon Valley Accelerator Y Combinator in 2014 and was selected as YC top company in January 2021.

Press Release: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrickcai/2022/06/08/cambly-series-b-english-language-app-profitable/

Founder Sameer's interview on Podcast: https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/51567490/shariff-breaking-language-barriers?tab=blocks