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Alibaba Announces New CFO As Restructuring Begins

Alibaba Group will be having a new chief financial officer (CFO) come 2022. The news of the new leadership also came with an announcement regarding the overhauling of its e-commerce operations.

Credit: Getty Images

The group behind one of the world's most popular destinations for online shopping announced on 6 December 2021 that Toby Xu, the deputy CFO, will be succeeding the current CFO, Maggie Wu, on 1 April 2022. According to Maggie, the transition is "the culmination of extensive preparation over many years and a part of Alibaba's leadership succession planning".

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group's Chairman and CEO, said that the company is focused on the long-term and the succession within the company's management team on every occasion is "always in the service of ensuring Alibaba will be stronger and better positioned for the future".

The upcoming succession is connected to Alibaba's restructuring of its international and domestic e-commerce businesses in response to competition and regulatory crackdown at home, as well as a slowing economy.

Lazada is an international e-commerce company that is popular in Southeast Asia. Credit: Alibaba Group

The restructuring would result in the formation of two new units. As the name suggests, the International Digital Commerce, which Taobao and Tmall President Jiang Fan will head, will cater to the company's international offerings. These include Lazada, a Southeast Asia-focused online market that Alibaba acquired in 2016 and AliExpress, which caters to Europe and South America consumers.

The other unit, China Digital Commerce, was formed through the merging of Alibaba's domestic consumer-oriented and wholesale marketplaces. This unit would be headed by Trudy Dai, the company's president of industrial e-commerce and community e-commerce.

Zhang says that the changes are the company's latest initiative to "empower [its] organisation to become more agile" as 2022 approaches. He promises that Alibaba will continue to focus on becoming a "truly globalised company" and believes that markets abroad would provide many exciting potential and opportunities for them to capture. He also said that its domestic sector is in good hands with Dai at the helm.

A photo of Alibaba Group veteran Trudy Dai. Credit: Alibaba Group

"We believe Trudy's deep experience and understanding of the China market, exceptional skills and unique insights as a female leader will help drive Alibaba's continued market leadership in the China consumption sector," Zhang said.

Alibaba's restructuring seemed to have calmed investors' worries that the company would continue its four-year low on the stock market due to the limited success of the company's newer businesses. According to Yahoo Finance, Alibaba's stock went up by 10.4%, closing at US$123.60 at 4 p.m. EST in the New York Stock Exchange.


Written by John Paul Joaquin

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