Gojek touts investor support for leadership change, co-CEOs say no disruption

Gojek co-CEOs Kevin Aluwi (left) and Andre Soelistyo

A day after Gojek founder Nadiem Makarim announced his departure from the startup to join Indonesia president Joko Widodo’s new cabinet, the ride-hailing firm touted support from its investors, including Tencent, Google and Warburg Pincus, for its new leadership.

Gojek had on Monday announced the appointment of Andre Soelistyo and Kevin Aluwi as its new co-CEOs. The leadership change had led some to question its impact on the unicorn’s growth and fundraising plans, which may have forced its hand to issue another statement on Tuesday.

“Gojek has achieved market leadership in the ride-hailing market in Indonesia and is expanding its leadership in various verticals such as food delivery and digital payments. We look forward to partnership with Andre and Kevin, and believe that their leadership will bring Gojek to the next level of development in Indonesia and beyond in Southeast Asia,” a Gojek statement quoted Poshu Yeung, Vice President, International Business Group of Tencent, as saying.

“Andre and Kevin are exceptional talents and have been playing a key role in driving Gojek’s growth. We have seen firsthand the leadership transition and seamless execution as they have been working closely to grow the business into the size and scale that it is today,” said Warburg Pincus managing director and Southeast Asia head Jeffrey Perlman. 

Gojek has seen phenomenal expansion across verticals both in Indonesia and overseas in recent years, in large part to the company’s impressive management team and deep bench of committed and talented executives… On a personal note, I’ve known Andre, Kevin and Nadiem from pre Gojek days and I’m very confident that they will all deliver lasting impact in their new roles,” said Ashish Shastry, Co-Head of Asia Pacific Private Equity and Head of Southeast Asia at KKR. 

On Tuesday, Gojek also clarified that Makarim will no longer retain any executive or advisory role in the company. The new co-CEOs, Soelistyo and Aluwi, also offered reassurance that the transition will cause no disruption to the company’s operations.

“Both of us have been running the Gojek business alongside Nadiem for some time, so there will be no disruption to the day to day operations or the amazing growth we have enjoyed over the years,” said Aluwi and Soelistyo in a joint statement.

Gojek said 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 as well as marketing, organizational development, and the transportation and food delivery businesses.

The ride-hailing major on Tuesday also announced the appointment of Garibaldi Thohir as its president commissioner. Thohir will lead the $10 billion company’s non-executive board, Gojek said in a statement.

Gojek had roped in Thohir, the energy tycoon and president director of coal mining giant Adaro Energy, as its commissioner in July this year. Thohir, with at least three decades of experience in managing, setting up and operating businesses in Indonesia, was ranked 16th on the Forbes list of the country’s richest in 2018.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.