Alibaba said on Monday morning that four of its executives will be reassigned to new jobs in one of the most significant reshuffles in the company’s recent history. Maggie Wu, the e-commerce behemoth’s previous CFO, will step down in April and be replaced by Toby Xu, the company’s current deputy CFO. We will remain an executive director on the Alibaba board and a partner in Alibaba Partnership, an elite group of individuals with significant influence over the company’s future.
Since joining Alibaba about 15 years ago, Wu has played a key role in the company’s three public listings: Alibaba.com (the firm’s B2B marketplace) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007, Alibaba Group Holding on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, and Alibaba on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019. Alibaba is one of the Chinese companies that have sought secondary listings in Hong Kong in the wake of escalating US-China tensions.
Alibaba, which was founded in 1999, had already undergone a substantial reorganization when Jack Ma handed over the CEO reins to Daniel Zhang in 2015 and then named him chairperson in 2019. In a statement, Wu stated, “The announcement of Alibaba’s CFO transition today is the conclusion of intensive preparation over many years and a component of Alibaba’s leadership succession planning.”
“Markets will always have ups and downs, but Alibaba has long-term aspirations that are ambitious.” We are in a relay race, and new generations of talent are needed to propel the organization ahead. She said, “I trust Toby even more than I trusted myself when I originally took over as CFO years ago.”
Xu joined Alibaba three years ago from PwC and made his debut as deputy CFO during the company’s investor day last year. He was in charge of numerous important partnerships at Alibaba, including the Chinese cooperation between the e-commerce giant and Starbucks. In addition to the CFO transition, Alibaba announced a substantial restructure to support its two-pronged local and international e-commerce strategy, according to Daniel Zhang in an internal letter.
Jiang Fan, who has been in charge of the company’s main income generators, its consumer-facing marketplaces in China, for years, will now manage the newly founded International Digital Commerce, the Southeast Asia-focused Lazada, which Alibaba bought control of in 2016, is part of the worldwide company. Alibaba also bought a controlling share in Trendyol in Turkey and acquired Daraz, it’s South Asian rival.
“We will continue to strive on creating a genuinely international firm,” Zhang said in his letter, “and we feel that abroad markets have many exciting prospects and chances for us to exploit.” Meanwhile, the company’s domestic consumer and wholesale markets will consolidate to establish the China Digital Commerce unit, which will led by Trudy Dai. Dai has been the driving force behind two of Alibaba’s major growth engines: Taobao Deals, a Chinese bazaar aimed at lower-income demographics, and Taocaicai, a local grocery service.