Grab Thailand head announces surprise departure

Grab Thailand head announces surprise departure

Tarin: Wants to be with family
Tarin: Wants to be with family

Tarin Thaniyavarn, the head of Grab Thailand, has decided to leave the position, saying he wants to pursue his own interests after more than two years with the on-demand mobile app.

He insisted the reason for his departure is not because the business is running in the red.

Mr Tarin announced his resignation via Facebook over the weekend.

He was chosen to lead the Thai operating unit of the Singaporean unicorn startup in February 2018.

"Having devoted myself towards transforming Grab Thailand for over two years, I have decided to pursue my own dream and to chart my own course in the next chapter of my life," he posted on Facebook page.

Grab Thailand has yet to announce his resignation.

Mr Tarin confirmed his resignation with the Bangkok Post yesterday.

"I would like to take a break after two years of work to spend time with my family," he said.

"It is time to pursue my own interests. I dedicated myself to the company. I want to try my own things. If I don't start them now, they won't get started."

Mr Tarin denied that his resignation was because the company was unprofitable.

He pointed to his milestones at the company, including an investment of US$200 million in Grab by Central Group. Grab has also become a leader in the food delivery market and he presented the company at the Asean Business Summit.

Mr Tarin said Grab Thailand has been totally transformed under his leadership.

Last month he said Grab's ride-hailing business profit was declining because of the outbreak, while the GrabFood delivery service is still unprofitable despite growing demand as it still needs to subsidise delivery costs and offer promotions to attract users.

In 2018, Grab recorded a loss of more than 700 million baht, Mr Tarin said.

The loss doubled last year as the company expanded the GrabFood business.

A source at Grab Thailand who requested anonymity told the Bangkok Post there are candidates available, but the process could take time to pick a replacement.

When asked whether Ariya Banomyong, president of Channel 3 operator BEC World, who last month tendered his resignation, would be one of the candidates, the source neither confirmed nor denied.

Mr Ariya's resignation takes effect on June 22.

Mr Ariya worked for Line Thailand as managing director before assuming the leadership role at BEC World.

"Whoever becomes the next leader needs to be a local person who knows the market," the source said.

Grab recently sharpened its focus on lending and payment through its Grab Financial Group, the source said.

The new business can leverage data gathered from Grab's ride-hailing services.

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