Indonesian ecommerce unicorn Bukalapak names new CEO

Bukalapak, one of Indonesia’s largest ecommerce marketplaces, said it will have a new CEO as Achmad Zaky, one of the company’s three founders, steps down from the role. Zaky will, however, stay on as an advisor.

The new CEO will be Rachmat Kaimuddin, who was the director of finance and planning at publicly listed Indonesian lender Bank Bukopin, which has a market value of around US$192 million. He started off his career as a senior associate at Boston Consulting Group before serving as a senior executive in various local companies.

The changes will take effect on January 6 next year.

According to an announcement, the management change is part of a long-term plan that began in October 2016 when Willix Halim was brought in as Bukalapak’s chief operating officer. He was previously the senior vice president of growth at Freelancer.com.

Zaky’s more hands-off role at Bukalapak as an advisor will free him up to establish the Achmad Zaky Foundation, which aims to strengthen Indonesia’s tech ecosystem through education, entrepreneurship development, investment, and research.

Founded in 2010, Bukalapak has become one of Indonesia’s largest internet companies, valued at more than US$2.5 billion.

The management change, however, comes at a challenging time for the company. Competition among ecommerce marketplaces in Indonesia is getting fiercer.

On certain engagement metrics, international marketplaces have been growing, while local rivals have been stagnating, according to data seen by Tech in Asia.

However, the company has seen a 3x increase in gross profits for the first half of 2019 over the previous year. It has also halved its EBITDA loss in the past eight months.

In its profitability drive, Bukalapak had to shed hundreds of roles, affecting less than 10% of its 2,500-strong workforce.

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