Indonesian ride-hailing decacorn Gojek has appointed tech veteran Severan Rault as its new chief technology officer (CTO), the company announced in a statement.
His appointment fills the gap left behind by former CTO Ajey Gore, who announced his resignation last month after a five-year stint with the company.
Rault, who will report to Gojek co-CEO Kevin Aluwi, will oversee the technology behind Gojek’s ecosystem that covers transportation, payments, food delivery, logistics and several other on-demand services. He will also manage the company’s engineering teams across Southeast Asia and India.
Based out of Singapore, Rault joins Gojek with over 20 years of experience in the tech industry. He served a two-year stint at Amazon as director of software development and has held several leadership positions at Microsoft after a company he founded called Kikker was acquired by the tech giant.
Before the move to Gojek, he led operations at the virtual reality company Betawave that he founded in 2016.
Rault joins Gojek at a time when the company has had to take tough decisions amid pressure brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, the company announced that it was laying off about 430 employees, or 9 per cent of its total workforce, and shutting down two of its services: GoLife, which offers at-home massage and cleaning services, as well as GoFood Festivals, Gojek’s physical food court concept. Both services have seen a significant downturn over the past few months amid the pandemic.
The moves, Gojek said, were part of a strategy to prioritise its high-impact core businesses of payments, transport and food delivery in a long-term response to the virus outbreak, which has seen its logistics business grow by 80 per cent, while grocery deliveries more than doubled.
Prior to that, Gojek secured an unspecified amount of investment from Facebook and PayPal as part of its Series F funding round, which the company said will support its mission to boost Southeast Asia’s digital economy, with a focus on supporting payments and financial services in the region.
“It is a time like no other at Gojek. The company is entering a critical phase as it moves from startup to maturation and it’s special to be a part of that. Building systems and processes for a business of Gojek’s scale and complexity is a challenge one rarely enjoys in their career and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” Rault said.