Malaysian startup unit to name new CEO

Ashran Ghazi reported to take over from Cheryl Yeoh.

The new chief executive of Malaysia’s startup agency will be Ashran Ghazi, a familiar face among the country’s entrepreneurs, according to a report by Digital News Asia. It has “reliably learnt” of the upcoming appointment from “various sources”, it said. Ghazi has co-founded and is chief operating officer of Joot Ventures, which built a content marketing tool called Joota. Prior to that, he started Asiastream Group, which provided television over the internet. Ghazi is also chairman of Malaysia’s New Entrepreneurs Foundation, a non profit organisation setup by the government to support digital and creative businesses. The Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC) is a unit under the Ministry of Finance. It runs accelerator programmes to help startups become investment-ready, and trains entrepreneurs. The programme received a boost of US$8.2 million in Malaysia’s 2016 Budget, with plans to become a “leading regional entrepreneurship and innovation hub”. A new CEO is scheduled to be appointed this month, the agency’s chairman Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, who is also Secretary General of the Treasury, has said. “I’ve formed an independent panel and we’re interviewing a few candidates. We will appoint the new CEO next month,” he said in March. A spokesperson for MaGIC said that “we cannot confirm on the [Digital News Asia] report since it hasn’t been announced yet”. If confirmed, Ghazi will lead the agency in supporting a wider startup ecosystem, and not just technology startups, - a return to its founding mandate - Digital News Asia reported sources as saying. He will take on from MaGIC’s founding CEO Cheryl Yeoh who left the agency in January 2016. Image from Ashran Ghazi's Facebook page.