Malaysia: MaGIC CEO Ashran Ghazi to step down

MaGIC CEO Ashran Dato' Ghazi

Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) CEO Ashran Ghazi announced that he has tendered his resignation after leading the agency for two and a half years since April 2016.

His last day with the agency will be December 12, 2018.

At a media briefing today, Ashran said, the agency has now been officially placed under the purview of Ministry of Entrepreneur Development (MED). Previously, it was under the Ministry of Finance with an annual budget allocation of RM50 million.

Established in 2014, MaGIC was rumoured to be disbanded after Malaysia’s general election on May 9 as the government looks to streamline its budget operations. It has drawn about RM197 million altogether from the government in the past four years. Post election, MaGIC’s chairman and former treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar has been transferred out of all his ministerial-related duties.

“We’re carrying through with the RM50 million annual budget. For 2019, we’re operating on a similar budget scale at the moment. [Under MED], we can now fully push for entrepreneurship-related policies at a ministerial level. We will continue the startup and innovation agenda along with the ministry. It gives us a breath of fresh air to pursue our policies with a larger voice,” he said.

On his resignation, Ashran added that he has been considering to resign since the beginning of this year to start his own venture as the CEO of a Malaysia-based regional consumer intelligence company, Dattel.

“But May 9, 2018 happened and delayed that decision because I had to make sure that things are okay for MaGIC before I moved on. So as soon as I got the confirmation that MaGIC will be placed under MED, I tendered my resignation. I’m still open to support MaGIC from an advisory point of view,” he added.

MaGIC’s current chief financial officer Amiruddin Abdul Shukor will be the acting CEO, said Ashran. He declined to reveal if the ministry has identified a successor for his role.

Meanwhile, he also shared that as of November 2018, MaGIC has “impacted” 90,392 entrepreneurs and 984 startups, with $106 million raised by the graduated startups post 24 months of the agency’s collaborative and accelerator programmes.

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