Gojek co-founder and former CEO Nadiem Makarim was on Wednesday named Indonesia’s new education and culture minister.
The announcement by President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo ended speculation on Makarim’s role in the new cabinet, following an announcement on Monday of the latter’s departure from Gojek.
At 35, Makarim will become Indonesia’s youngest minister.
In his new role, he will be in charge of organizing early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education and community education affairs and the management of culture within the Indonesian government.
Makarim made headlines on Monday when, to the surprise of many, he appeared at the state palace ahead of a cabinet announcement by President Jokowi, who was sworn in for a second term on Sunday.
Local media and observers had speculated that Makarim could assume a role in a newly created digital economy ministry or in education. A role in the education ministry is likely to assuage concerns over a potential conflict of interest since he is understood to still hold a stake in Gojek.
Gojek subsequently announced that its group president Andre Soelistyo and co-founder Kevin Aluwi will become the new co-CEOs after Makarim’s departure.
Makarim founded Gojek in 2010 as a motorbike (or ojek) hailing service and has since scaled it to become Indonesia’s first decacorn, or a startup valued at $10 billion or more. Today, it offers a range of services, including food delivery, ride-hailing, digital payments, shopping, hyper-local delivery and lifestyle services. As of 2018, Gojek claims to have processed more than $9 billion annualized gross transaction value (GTV) across all its markets, including Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.