Alibaba is reassigning roles to four of its executives in one of the biggest reshuffles in recent history, the company said Monday morning.
Maggie Wu, the former CFO of the e-commerce titan, will step down next April and be replaced by Toby Xu, current deputy CFO. Wu will continue to be a partner of the Alibaba Partnership, an exclusive group of staff with a major influence on the direction of the company, and will remain as the executive director of Alibaba’s board of directors.
Wu has been instrumental in Alibaba’s three public listings since joining about 15 years ago: Alibaba.com (the company’s B2B marketplace) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007, Alibaba Group Holding on the Stock Exchange of New York in 2014 and on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Stock market in 2019. Alibaba is one of the Chinese US-listed companies that have sought secondary listings in Hong Kong amid growing tensions between the US and China.
Founded in 1999, Alibaba has already undergone a major reshuffle when Jack Ma passed the torch of CEO to Daniel Zhang in 2015 and named him president in 2019.
“Today’s announcement of the CFO of Alibaba’s transition is the culmination of extensive preparation over many years and part of the planning for the succession to the leadership of Alibaba,” Wu said in a statement.
“Markets will always have ups and downs, but Alibaba has ambitious long-term goals. We are in a relay race and we need to have new generations of talent to move the business forward. I trust Toby even more than I trust myself when I was CFO years ago, ”she added.
Xu joined Alibaba from PwC three years ago and first appeared as deputy chief financial officer at the company’s Investor Day last year. He oversaw several major transactions at Alibaba, including the e-commerce titan’s partnership with Starbucks in China.
Along with the CFO’s succession, Alibaba also unveiled a major reorganization to strengthen its two-pronged strategy of domestic and international e-commerce, Daniel Zhang said in an internal letter.
Jiang Fan, who has led the company’s main revenue drivers, its consumer markets in China, for years, will lead the new international digital business. The international unit includes Southeast Asia-focused Lazada, which Alibaba took over in 2016.
“We will continue to focus on our goal of becoming a truly globalized company and we believe that overseas markets present many exciting potentials and opportunities to be seized,” Zhang wrote in his letter.
Meanwhile, the company’s domestic wholesale and consumer-oriented markets will be merged to form the new China Digital Commerce unit and will be under the leadership of Trudy Dai. Dai has spearheaded two of Alibaba’s new growth engines, Taobao Deals, its bazaar targeting low-income populations in China, and Taocaicai, its neighborhood grocery store.