Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi was named as the new Chief Executive of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba.com Limited (HKG:1688). The new CEO will step in the shoes of the Group’s founder Jack Ma who announced in January that he will be leaving the position to make way for the younger leaders at the firm.
The move at this point in time could well indicate the concluding plans for a share sale, a management revamp in January, the June delisting of a Hong Kong unit, and the buyback of a stake held by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) in a deal valuing Hangzhou, the China based company at $35 billion.
Mr. Ma, who is 43 years old, started working at Alibaba in 2000 and has supervised the Group’s various key divisions, including the online payment service Alipay. Mr. Ma will remain the executive chairman of the company found by him in 1999.
“Jonathan and I have worked together for 13 years,” Mr. Ma said.
“Not only has he contributed to building our culture and organization and developed many talented people, he also possesses a unique leadership style and charisma.”
Alibaba is the parent company, which consists of Alibaba.com Limited (HKG:1688), an online marketplace for small businesses, Taobao, a shopping site for consumers, and Alipay an online payment service in its portfolio. Alibaba is one of the first companies in the Chinese internet market and over the years it has been very successful, with China turning into the world’s biggest internet market with more than 500 million users. The internet consumer market will grow further in China as the number of rural consumers is getting increased access to the internet.
The competition has, however, intensified. Alibaba.com Limited (HKG:1688), seeing the intense competition has been making efforts to restructure its operations to make sure that the company dominates and continues to grow. Last year, it bought back its shares in Alibaba.com, the only listed division of the group, and took it private. Alibaba announced its plan to break up its business into 25 different units that will be led by different executives.
The new chief executive of Alibaba.com Limited (HKG:1688) stated that the company should do everything it can in order to satisfy the customer and to be the dominant player in the market. The firm needed to ensure that it continued to satisfy its customers if it was to maintain its dominant position, the new chief executive said.
“We live in an era of rapid change where pressures and challenges co-exist, but we must not forget our purpose and keep in mind the premise of ‘Customer First’,” Mr Lu said in a statement.