Influential Indonesian businessman Garibaldi Thohir joins Gojek as independent commissioner

Thohir has ties to Indonesia’s business and political elite.

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Influential Indonesian businessman Garibaldi Thohir joins Gojek as independent commissioner

Indonesian on-demand services platform Gojek has appointed influential Indonesian businessman, Garibaldi Thohir, as an independent commissioner.

As such, he is expected to oversee and give advice to the company as it expands across Southeast Asia and does not represent shareholder interests.

Thohir’s decades-long experience will help Gojek become a “national winner” and “competitive on the global stage,”  said Andre Soelistyo, president of the Gojek Group in a written media statement.

Garibaldi Thohir, also known as Boy Thohir, is affiliated with the coal mining company Andaro Energy. He is from a family of entrepreneurs well known in Indonesia and internationally. His father is a co-owner of Astra International, one of Indonesia’s most valuable conglomerates. Astra is an investor in Gojek.

Garibaldi Thohir’s brother Erick is also a well-known businessman and political advisor with interests in media and sports. Erick became president Joko Widodo’s campaign chief during his bid for re-election earlier this year. His name has been thrown in the ring as a possible candidate for the position of IT Minister in President Joko Widodo’s new cabinet, which has yet to be formed. Erick Thohir has neither confirmed nor denied this, telling media that it’s up the the President to make these decisions.

It’s quite common in Indonesia to bring in well-connected people as commissioners and in other advisory roles. Grab, Gojek’s main rival in the region, has its own roster of such appointees. For example, Indonesia’s the former police chief Badrodin Haiti became a senior advisor to Grab Indonesia.