Alibaba Group Holding Limited appointed Jim Wilkinson as senior vice president, head of international corporate affairs, as it prepares for its initial public offering (IPO) in the United States.

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The Chinese e-commerce giant said Wilkinson will be responsible for building and leading its international corporate affairs team, and he will be based in San Francisco. Wilkinson will replace John Spelich, who is now serving as vice president of international e-commerce business development of Alibaba Group Holding Limited.

Previous experience

Wilkinson is a former executive vice president of communications at PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP). Alibaba Group Holding Limited noted that during Wilkinson’s tenure at the beverage company, he led a strong and successful communications team in primary growth markets worldwide including China and across Asia.

He previously served as chief of staff for former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Wilkinson also served as senior advisor to former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Wilkinson also worked as managing partner for international business and financial strategy at Brunswick Corporation (NYSE:BC). He provided strategic counsel on global mandates including international, corporate and financial communications, corporate reputation, investor relations, crisis management and litigation for the company.

The e-commerce giant emphasized that Wilkinson has strong experience in government and regulatory affairs in key global markets around the world

Alibaba executives’ comments

In a statement, Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Limited said, “As Alibaba extends our platform for entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world, it is important that we have the right people in place who have a track record of building bridges across geographic boundaries.”

Ma is confident that Wilkinson’s leadership, global experience and successful track record will help Alibaba Group Holding Limited in achieving its goals in other markets.

On the other hand, Alibaba’s vice chairman Joe Tsai stated that Wilkinson is a “proven team builder and leader in the global corporate affairs with a strong track record of integrity, passion and commitment” which reflect the values of the e-commerce giant.

Data from Bloomberg shows that Alibaba Group Holding Limited is the 34th largest company worldwide in terms of market capitalization, behind China Construction Bank Corporation (SHA:601939) and Total SA (EPA:FP).