Updated on January 3rd: We changed the headline from “Ken and Andrew have exited Kaskus” to “Ken and Andrew stepped down from CEO and CTO of Kaskus”. The two of them still hold important roles inside the company as chairman and advisor respectively. We apologize for the confusion.
Updated on December 4th: We have reached out to Lawadinata about this and he has confirmed the transition. He added that the CTO position is now divided into two heads – head of infrastructure and head of development.
Two weeks ago at Startup Asia Jakarta, Ken Dean Lawadinata and Andrew Darwis told us about their imminent departure as CEO and CTO of Indonesia’s biggest online forum Kaskus. The transition has now been finalized as they have both left their respective positions. Former COO Sukan Makmuri has taken on the CEO position.
Sukan Makmuri is a heavyweight player when he joined Kaskus in September as COO. Among other credentials, Makmuri has previously taken on the position of VP for the internet banking technology division at Bank of America.
Makmuri will be able to give new ideas and perspectives to the Kaskus team. The search for this successor has been ongoing since January 2011. The pair was looking for someone who have the same vision and patience to build the Kaskus brand in the long term, rather than being concerned with short-term revenue.
Lawadinata stated that they originally planned to hire somebody from the inside, but because they couldn’t find anyone, they had to hire from outside. “As a replacement, [Makmuri's] as good as it gets,” says Lawadinata during Startup Asia. He adds:
The number one goal of the founder is not to hold on to their position, but to make sure [the company] survives.
Lawadinata and Darwis will learn as much as they can from the new CEO and there is a possibility that the pair will retake the reins in the future when they feel they are more ready to do so.
Lawadinata is now the chairman of Kaskus while Darwis is an administrator and advisor of that site. The former also runs baby e-commerce shop with his wife called Tororo.
Kaskus will take part in the very heated e-commerce marketplace battleground soon. The team has finished building a buy-and-sell platform and will launch it in Q1 next year if all goes according to plan. They haven’t used a single cent from the GDP Ventures investment so far, but will do so only when they need a plan B.
Other notable internal movements from e-commerce companies in Indonesia are Remco Lupker and Arnold Egg from TokoBagus, as well as Ferry Tenka and Jason Lamuda from Groupon’s Disdus.com. All of them have stepped down from their leadership positions in respective companies.
(Editing by Terence Lee)