Gojek CEO quits to join Indonesian cabinet, replacements named

Makarim told reporters at the presidential palace in Jakarta it was a “a big honor to be able to join the cabinet. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 October 2019

Gojek CEO quits to join Indonesian cabinet, replacements named

  • Mahfud told reporters he was asked by the president if he was ready to serve, but was not told what post he could be given
  • Some media reports have suggested Prabowo Subianto could serve as defense minister

JAKARTA: Gojek CEO and co-founder Nadiem Makarim said on Monday he had resigned to join Indonesia’s cabinet, and the ride-hailing and payments company said two senior officials would jointly take over running operations of the $10 billion firm.

President Andre Soelistyo and the other co-founder Kevin Aluwi would be the joint CEOs, Gojek said. It said in a statement it had “planned for this possibility and there would no disruption to its business.”

Makarim, 35, told reporters at the presidential palace in Jakarta it was a “a big honor to be able to join the cabinet.” He said his specific role would be announced by President Joko Widodo later in the week.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo may delay announcing his cabinet until Wednesday morning, according to Mahfud MD, a former head of the Constitutional Court, who said he was interviewed for a post at the palace on Monday.

Mahfud told reporters he was asked by the president if he was ready to serve, but was not told what post he could be given.

“On Wednesday, we are all invited to be announced to all of you, we were called one by one today,” Mahfud told Kompas TV at the presidential palace, adding that a swearing in was scheduled at 9 a.m. (0200 GMT) Wednesday.

He said he discussed with Widodo topics ranging from politics to law enforcement, corruption, human rights and religion.

On Sunday, Widodo said he planned to introduce ministers in his cabinet for a second term on Monday morning. No official announcement has been made on the cabinet.

Several other potential candidates visited the palace on Monday morning, including Nadiem Makarim, the chief executive of Indonesian ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek, who has been linked in the media as a possible post in a new digital economy ministry or in education.

“I have received a big honor to be able to join the cabinet of the president,” Makarim told reporters at the presidential palace. He also said he has resigned from Gojek.

Makarim said his specific role would be announced by the president later in the week. Gojek, which is valued at $10 billion, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on who would succeed Makarim.

Widodo’s election campaign manager Erick Thohir, who is chairman of media business Mahaka Media, was also at the palace. Shares of Mahaka Media soared 20 percent on Monday on expectations that Thohir, a former chairman of Italian football club Inter Milan, joining the cabinet.

Widodo has previously said that respected finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati would retain a position in the cabinet, but gave no further details.

The president has also been meeting with opposition leaders and some media reports have suggested Prabowo Subianto, who was the sole challenger in April’s bitterly fought presidential poll, could serve as defense minister.


Russia says allegations COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe are groundless

Updated 12 August 2020

Russia says allegations COVID-19 vaccine is unsafe are groundless

  • Moscow’s decision to grant it approval has raised concerns among some experts
  • Only about 10% of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety

MOSCOW: Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said on Wednesday allegations that Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine was unsafe were groundless and driven by competition, the Interfax news agency reported.
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing.
Moscow’s decision to grant it approval has raised concerns among some experts. Only about 10% of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.