JAKARTA -- It was no secret that John Riady was being groomed to lead one of Indonesia's biggest family empires, but the 33-year-old wasn't expecting to get the call so soon -- certainly not while the group was confronting financial pressure and a serious scandal.
"It is not something that I had planned for," he said of the family's push late last year to make him CEO of property developer Lippo Karawaci, the heart and soul of the $8 billion Lippo Group conglomerate. His grandfather, founder Mochtar Riady, spoke with him. Then came his uncle, Stephen Riady. Finally, John's father, James Riady, made a pitch.