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Gojek’s ex-CEO to keep stake as ‘passive shareholder’ after Indonesian Cabinet appointment

Gojek’s ex-CEO and co-founder Nadiem Makarim, who is leaving the Indonesian ride-hailing and payments company to join President Joko Widodo’s Cabinet, will keep his stake but without any advisory or executive role, a Gojek spokesman said on Tuesday.

“He will be a passive shareholder. No role within the business and no influence on the company,” the spokesman said, noting the ex-CEO would not sit on the company’s board.

He declined to specify the size of Makarim’s stake in Gojek, which is backed by tech giants Google and Tencent among others.

Gojek said on Monday that its president Andre Soelistyo and the other co-founder Kevin Aluwi would replace Makarim as co-CEOs.

Makarim, 35, told reporters on Monday that he had resigned from running operations at Gojek, which is valued at US$10 billion.

He said it was a “a big honour to be able to join the Cabinet” and that his specific role would be announced by Widodo later in the week.

Indonesian media have linked Makarim to a possible Cabinet post in a new digital economy ministry or in education.

Gojek raised more than US$1 billion earlier this year from backers including Alphabet’s Google and Chinese tech giants Tencent and JD.

The company said in a statement on Tuesday that its ongoing series F fundraising round was “set to raise well over US$2 billion”.


Having evolved from a ride-hailing service founded in 2010 to a one-stop app allowing users to make online payments and order food and services such as massages, Gojek is now targeting a larger slice of the Southeast Asian market, where Softbank-rival Grab currently dominates ride-sharing.

Outside Indonesia, where it recently launched a Netflix-style video-streaming service, Gojek has also expanded to Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines. An expansion to Malaysia is planned.

Soelistyo and Aluwi said in a joint statement on Tuesday that Makarim was a “source of inspiration” to everyone in the company.

“Nadiem leaves after an amazing nine years spent building the company from just an idea, into a multi-billion dollar business that reduces friction in the lives of people throughout Southeast Asia, while providing a source of income for millions,” they said.

“His achievements have been a source of inspiration to everyone at Gojek and he leaves the business at a time when there’s never been more excitement about its future potential.”

Soelistyo and Aluwi said their succession as co-CEOs will not present any disruptions to the day-to-day operations of Gojek.

Since co-founding Gojek, Aluwi has held significant leadership roles across product and functional teams within the organisation.

Meanwhile, Soelistyo played a pivotal role in laying a solid foundation for Gojek’s rapid growth by having overseen more than US$4 billion of fundraising.

They added that Soelistyo will focus on corporate functions and management of capital allocation, international expansion as well as payments and financial services, while Aluwi will focus on the product development elements of the Gojek business as well as marketing, organisational development, and the transportation and food delivery businesses.

“We would also like to wish Nadiem the very best of luck as he embarks on this very important mission,” they said.

Representatives from Gojek backers including tech giants Google and Tencent as well as American global investor firm KKR expressed support for the new leadership in the statement.

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