Motorcycle taxi groups on opposite lanes regarding former Gojek CEO Nadiem Makarim’s imminent ministerial appointment

File photo of Gojek founder and its former CEO Nadiem Makarim. Photo: Reuters
File photo of Gojek founder and its former CEO Nadiem Makarim. Photo: Reuters

One of the biggest news to come out of Indonesia yesterday was the resignation of Gojek founder Nadiem Makarim from his post as CEO of the startup decacorn, as he has accepted an as-of-yet unspecified role as minister in President Joko Widodo’s cabinet for 2019-2024.

Soon after the announcement was made, the Two-Wheel Action Movement Presidium (Garda Indonesia), a union representing the interests of ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers across the country that has been behind several mass protests in recent years, said it will hold a nationwide protest to express displeasure at Nadiem’s appointment. 

“Don’t just look at [how Gojek] is a startup decacorn. Nadiem must take a look at how there are drivers who are not yet prosperous. How can he, with his competence, bring prosperity to the people of Indonesia while on the corporate level he hasn’t been able to bring prosperity to partner drivers?” Garda Chairman Igun Wicaksono told Detik.

Igun said that many ojek drivers will be brought to Jakarta to protest outside the Presidential Palace. He said their complaints will be directed mostly at President Jokowi for picking Nadiem as a minister.

Specific plans for the protest have not yet been announced.

Conversely, another ojek union, named The Indonesia Online Drivers Community Forum (FKDOI) said that not all ojek drivers are opposed to Nadiem’s appointment.

“[Nadiem] is a figure who can be counted on to develop Indonesia in the future,” FKDOI Chairman Cang Rahman said in a statement.

“It has been proven that he’s an innovative leader in utilizing online ojeks not just in Indonesia but also on the global level.”

Nadiem yesterday confirmed that he has resigned from his position as Gojek’s CEO after he was summoned by President Jokowi at the Presidential Palace to discuss a possible role in his upcoming ministerial cabinet. 

In a statement received by Coconuts Jakarta, Gojek’s Chief of Corporate Affairs, Nila Marita, announced that leadership of the Indonesian company will be taken over by Andre Soelistyo and Kevin Aluwi, who will both serve as co-CEO of Gojek. Andre was previously President of Gojek group, whereas Kevin is one of Gojek’s co-founders. 

Gojek, which is currently valued at US$10 billion, raised over US$1 billion earlier this year from multiple backers, including Alphabet’s Google and Chinese tech giant Tencent.

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