Gojek’s 35-Year-Old Chief Is Joining Indonesia’s New Cabinet

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We’ve talked a lot about the battle raging between Go-Jek and Grab. Both companies started in Southeast Asia, the byproduct of HBS graduates who moved back home to bring ride sharing to the region. Both companies have expanded both geographically and strategically, entering into new markets and rolling out new, more expansive product lines including payments and delivery. Both companies have raised multiples of billions of dollars and are well beyond unicorn status. This week’s episode in the saga adds an extra layer of intrigue. Nadiem Makarim, Go-Jek’s CEO, is stepping down from the company to join the Indonesian President’s new cabinet as the Minister for Education and Culture (making him the Minister of Transportation would have been a bit too on the nose). The signal is clear: checkmate for Grab in Indonesia.

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