Jakarta. Nadiem Makarim, co-founder of unicorn startup Gojek Indonesia, announced on Monday that he had stepped down as the company's chief executive to take up a post in President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's new cabinet.
"Starting today, I no longer have any position or authority in Gojek," Nadiem told reporters after a meeting with the president at the State Palace in Central Jakarta.
Jokowi said in his inauguration speech on Sunday that he would need aides who can deliver results, especially in simplifying the bureaucracy and cutting red tape, as well as in cultivating talent, nurturing innovation and attracting investment.
Nadiem, who is a graduate of Harvard Business School in Boston, Massachusetts, gained a reputation for transforming Indonesia's messy motorcycle taxi sector into a $10 billion digital business that currently spans several countries in Southeast Asia.
And the president has now asked Nadiem to do the same for his government.
"He has confidence in me to take this responsibility and I accepted it," Nadiem said.
However, he declined to reveal the exact ministerial post he would be taking up, urging the media to wait for Jokowi's announcement later.
The president earlier said that he planned to announce the cabinet on Monday, but observers pointed out that with Vice President Ma'ruf Amin currently in Japan to attend the coronation of Emperor Naruhito, it would be very unusual for him to inaugurate his ministers right away.
Besides Nadiem, Jokowi also summoned several other people to the State Palace on Monday morning. They include Mahfud M.D., who is a former defense minister and Constitutional Court justice, and Christiany Eugenia Paruntu, the district head of South Minahasa in North Sulawesi.
Wishnutama Kusubandio, a seasoned television executive, and Erick Thohir, founder of the Mahaka Media Group, were also present at the palace. Wishnutama played a pivotal role in producing the widely successful opening and closing ceremonies of last year's Asian Games in Jakarta, while Erick chaired Jokowi's re-election campaign team.