New MaGIC CEO to be named next month
By Lum Ka Kay March 8, 2016
- Interviewing process for new CEO still ongoing according to chairman
- New initiative GEM to ‘internationalise’ Malaysian startup ecosystem
THE new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre (MaGIC) will be announced next month, according to the agency’s chairman Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, also the Secretary-General of the Treasury at the Ministry of Finance.
“I’ve formed an independent panel and we’re interviewing a few candidates. We will appoint the new CEO next month,” he told the media on the sidelines of the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Movement (GEM) in Kuala Lumpur on March 7.
Former CEO Cheryl Yeoh abruptly resigned from MaGIC last December, with her last day in January this year, sparking off the hunt for a replacement.
“By way of a mutual agreement with the [Ministry of Finance], my contract will end on Jan 14 2016, after one year and nine months of service,” she said in an official statement then.
“While I will not be involved in the selection process of the new CEO, I believe that the chairman and board of directors of MaGIC will choose the best person for the job,” she added.
Yeoh was the first CEO of MaGIC, which was officially launched in April 2014 as an agency under the Ministry of Finance to develop entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Irwan described GEM as a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that will provide a platform for entrepreneurs from various industries to converge. He is the patron.
He said the NGO aims to “airlift the Malaysian entrepreneurial system and strengthen global partnerships.”
“By placing greater emphasis on entrepreneurship via GEM’s strategic programmes locally, regionally or globally, everyone will be given the opportunity to create jobs, spur innovation and strengthen Malaysia’s position in entrepreneurship,” he said.
StartupMalaysia.org cofounder Dhakshinamoorthy ‘Dash’ Balakrishnan (pic), who has been appointed president, said that GEM is about “bringing the ecosystem together.”
“When you start a business or a venture, the thing you lack the most is connections. You lack networks and you don’t know where to go to look for these connections.
“What GEM is working towards is to provide vast networks to entrepreneurs. We will organise networking events and programmes to bring people in the ecosystem together,” he said.
When asked where GEM would get its funding from, Dash said “everyone.”
“We’re not funded by the Government. It’s going to be a private sector partnership,” he said, adding that the NGO has raised about RM20,000 (US$4,895) to date.
“We want to look at how much of an impact we can create. It’s about raising the standards and the ecosystem,” he declared.
Dash said that it was time for independent and private sector players to “synergise and weave the ecosystem together.”
“GEM will be the first NGO that focuses on connecting and networking, whilst fostering collaborations to internationalise Malaysia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” he added.
Admission into GEM is RM50 (US$12.24) and it is open to all individuals.
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