Indonesia tech linchpin shakes up top ranks after selloff

Indonesian ride-hailing and delivery giant GoTo Group is sidelining several key executives and switching up its board, undertaking its biggest management reshuffle after a steep market selloff over the past year.

The country’s biggest tech company announced Wednesday that group president Patrick Cao is relinquishing his post to run a company endowment fund, while Tokopedia chief William Tanuwijaya will no longer lead the local e-commerce pioneer he founded in 2009. Tanuwijaya will however remain a commissioner and co-chairman of GoTo.

GoTo is appointing a cadre of new leaders just as the tech industry is grappling with geopolitical tensions and a potential global recession. The Indonesian company, which for years enjoyed unparalleled growth, has cut 12% of its workforce to reach profitability, joining a wave of layoffs rocking Silicon Valley giants and startups.

The Jakarta-based company has lost 65% of its value since debuting in 2022, pummeled by the pandemic and a flight of capital from loss-making tech firms. The company managed to narrowlosses in the most recent quarter but continues to struggle to convince investors of its prospects, especially after its plan to facilitate controlled stake sales by pre-IPO backers — aimed at avoiding a bigger selloff at once — fizzled.

Chief Executive Officer Andre Soelistyo told reporters Wednesday the reshuffle is meant to accelerate GoTo’s path to profitability. The shakeup included a series of departures from the board and other executive appointments. Melissa Siska Juminto was appointed as president of e-commerce; Catherine Sutjahyo was named president of on-demand business; and Hans Patuwo president of fintech business.

Formed via a merger of ride-hailing provider Gojek and e-commerce firm Tokopedia, GoTo raised $1.1 billion in one of last year’s largest initial public offerings. Early backers such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and SoftBank Group Corp. were held to an eight-month lockup expiring Nov. 30 to support the stock price following the IPO.

Then the market soured. Southeast Asian food delivery spending grew at the slowest pace in at least four years in 2022, highlighting the challenges faced by regional internet giants including GoTo and Grab Holdings Ltd.

“Our focus is to expedite path to profitability,” Soelistyo told reporters in Jakarta. “We need to become an independent company, not dependent on external funding including fundraising.” –BLOOMBERG