Alibaba, China’s e-commerce giant, today named insider Jonathan Lu Xaoxi as its new CEO — filling a hole two months after founder Jack Ma announced that he would be stepping down from the position. The move is another step in the company’s bigger restructuring, which saw the creation of some 25 separate business units to run the company’s various interests, which range from the Taobao online marketplace to group shopping (Juhuasuan), online payments Alipay, mobile payments service Aliyun, and more.
When Ma announced he was stepping down as CEO, one of the reasons he gave for his move was his age: he said that 48 was too old, and that younger people at Alibaba had a better grip on the change that is needed at the company. That was probably more smoke a mirrors than anything else, though. Lu, who is 43 (so not so much younger than Ma) will take over May 10, and Ma will continue to be involved in strategic decisions as chairman.
Lu is an insider. He’s been at the company for 11 years — joining when Alibaba was only a year old. He was most recently as EVP. He’s run three different divisions of the company, including the Taobao shopping platform, and he is currently in charge of the company’s mobile payments initiative, Aliyun, among other things.
More to come.
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