Alibaba bets on Jonathan Lu as new CEO
By Industry Leaders Magazine | March 13, 2013 3:09 PM EST
On the 11th of March, Chinese online giant Alibaba Group informed that its executive vice president Jonathan Lu would take the helm from current chief executive officer Jack Ma. The nomination was announced amid growing speculation over its forthcoming initial public offering.
New Alibaba CEO
China's Alibaba Group, the e-commerce company, informed that its executive vice president Jonathan Lu would replace its 48-year-old founder Jack Ma as chief executive officer on the 10th of May. The changing of the guard was much-anticipated as Jack Mac had announced that he would step down as Alibaba CEO. The billionaire founder announced his resignation, adding that the company should be run by someone younger. He strongly believes that a younger person would be a great asset to Alibaba Group as the youth means changes and openness to newness. Taking into consideration the nomination of 43-year-old Jonathan Lu, the Jack Ma's adumbration turned out to be only empty words.
According to a statement released on the 11th of March, Jonathan Lu will assume the position on the 10th of May. It was, however, underlined that founder Jack Ma would remain executive chairman and would be involved in building strategy of the e-commerce company.
The nomination of Jonathan Lu is said to indicate that the China's e-commerce company is just about to complete its plans of the initial public offering. In a letter to Alibaba Group's employees, outgoing CEO Jack Ma underlined: "Jonathan has impressed with his curiosity and ability to grasp new ideas, his judgment and decisiveness."
Indeed, Jonathan Lu, who has been working for Alibaba since 2000, seems to be an ideal person for the position of the chief executive officer as he has gained relevant and crucial experience supervising major units. For example, back in 2010, he run Alibaba's Taobao online shopping platform, not to mention that he created the company's Alipay online payments service as well.
Condition of Alibaba
Alibaba Group in undeniably one of the world's biggest e-commerce companies. However, even the China's giant has to take some steps to operate even more effectively, therefore the officials have decided to rearrange. The aim is to operate more effectively as China has the world's biggest population of Internet users amounting to nearly 565 million people. And Alibaba Group wants to take advantage of it, it wants simply to benefit from this large population.
Indeed, China has potential to have even more online customers than the US. Research by Boston Consulting Group showed that the values of China's online retail sales would jump to as much as $360 billion by 2015 and the world's second economy would become the No. 1 in total online spending by 2015 as well!
With the ongoing restructuring and the purchase of half of Yahoo Inc.'s 40 percent stake for slightly over $7 billion, Alibaba Group is expected to be preparing for the initial public offering. Therefore it is not surprising that the company wants someone who is energetic and creative to run the business so that the initial public offering will turn out to be as much successful as it is possible.