THE co-founder of Indonesian e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak will vacate his CEO role next month to make way for an ex-banker, the second of such high-profile leadership changes in Indonesia's startup scene.
Achmad Zaky will step down as CEO on Jan 6, 2020 and become an adviser to the company as well as tech startup mentor and chairman of the soon-to-be-established Achmad Zaky Foundation. His successor is Rachmat Kaimuddin, who was most recently director for finance and planning for Bank Bukopin in Indonesia since 2018.
Under the new leadership, focus will be made on issues relating to talent, capital and financial management, as well as strengthening Bukalapak’s role in supporting Indonesian micro small and medium enterprises, said the firm in a press statement.
In October, fellow unicorn Gojek's CEO and co-founder Nadiem Makarim resigned to join Indonesia's cabinet. He handed over the reins to group president Andre Soelistyo and co-founder Kevin Aluwi, who now head up the Indonesian firm as co-CEOs.
Bukalapak's new leadership comes at a time when the group is facing fierce rivalry from homegrown e-commerce firm Tokopedia and regional competitors Shopee and Lazada. It roped in human resources veteran Bagus Harimawan as chief of talent in July.
Mr Zaky and his team led the company from a scrappy startup 10 years ago to a online marketplace that now counts more than 70 million active users, four million sellers and over two million mom-and-pop kiosks on its platform.
But his time as CEO was also marred by controversial events, most notably a tweet in February that was interpreted as a show of support for President Joko Widodo's challenger in the then-upcoming presidential election. It triggered a wave of backlash, with the hash tag #UninstallBukalapak becoming a trending topic on Twitter.
Mr Zaky's successor Mr Kaimuddin was a member of the board of commissioners for Bank Bukopin up till his appointment as director. He started his career as a senior associate at the Boston Consulting Group, and has held roles at PT Semen Bosowa Maros, PT Bosowa Corporindo and Baring Private Equity Asia.
Other co-founders Fajrin Rasyid and Nugroho Herucahyono will stay on as president and chief financial officer, respectively.
Bukalapak was valued at over US$2.5 billion during its last funding round in October. It is backed by Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, Alibaba-affiliate Ant Financial and South Korea’s Shinhan Financial Group.