Alibaba names 'low-profile' CEO to replace Jack Ma

Alibaba executive Jonathan Lu will take over in May

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group named its new CEO to replace Jack Ma, choosing from within its ranks long-time company executive Jonathan Lu, who will start in his new role on May 10.

Alibaba announced the appointment on Monday. Ma said in January he would step down from his position as CEO to usher in the next generation of company leaders.

Lu, 43, is currently Alibaba's chief data officer and joined the company just a year after it was founded in 1999. He has served in management roles with several businesses within the group, including its sourcing platform Alibaba.com, online payment service Alipay, and e-commerce retailer Taobao.

"He's been well-groomed for the role in that he's served in a variety of different capacities for the last 12 years," said Mark Natkin, managing director for Beijing-based Marbridge Consulting, who was not surprised by the appointment.

Lu will be taking over a company that currently dominates China's e-commerce space, but is also branching out into other fields to attract users to its ecosystem of services. In 2011, Alibaba began promoting its own mobile operating system, called Aliyun, and last month it also launched a new search engine.

Alibaba's corporate news site described Lu as a "low-profile leader." This contrasts with Ma, who is perhaps China's most visible Internet CEO and also known for inviting famous celebrities, such as Kobe Bryant and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to speak at company events.

Despite Lu's appointment, Ma will still have a prominent place in shaping Alibaba's future, Natkin said. The company has said Ma will continue to serve as its executive chairman, and will work to develop company strategy and managerial personnel.

"It's maybe not so necessary to have someone who's a good showman, and instead who's a good steward," Natkin added.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags internete-commerceAlibaba Group

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Roam freely in the digital world. Critically acclaimed performance and security at your fingertips.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?