China's e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has named a new CEO. Executive Vice President Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi, who has been with the company for more than a decade, will officially take over May 10.
The search for Alibaba's new CEO began after founder and current CEO Jack Ma announced his decision to step down on Jan. 15. At 48, Ma said, he was no longer "young for the Internet business." However, Ma will remain executive chairman and continue to shape the company's business strategy and management development.
Ma praised Lu, saying in the company announcement: "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."
Lu, 43, has a reputation as a low-profile leader. The company blog calls him "an operations whiz with the ability to get things done."
With 13 years with the company, Lu has led three major divisions and steered the Taobao online shopping platform. When he joined in 2000, he helped form Alibaba.com's sales team for South China. In 2004, he led the launch of Alipay, the company's online payments affiliate. Later, he served as Alipay's president.
During his time as the head Taobao, since 2008, Taobao's total sales generated by sellers using the platform increased eightfold. Since July 2012, Lu has also worked as Alibaba's chief data officer, where he heads up the "Big Data" initiative and Aliyun, Alibaba's mobile OS.
Before joining Alibaba, Lu worked in the hotel industry, then co-founded a network communication company. He holds a master's degree in business administration from China Europe International Business School in Shanghai.
As CEO, Lu will oversee 24 of Alibaba's 25 business units, with the exception of the recently formed Alibaba Small and Micro Financial Services Group, Alibaba's financial services arm. Chief Human Resources Officer and former head of Alipay Lucy Peng was elevated to CEO of the new financial services arm last week.
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