Alibaba appoints new CEO


Shares in Alibaba rose 7.5% yesterday after it reported strong financial results and announced a new chief executive.

Alibaba’s revenue rose 45% to 17.43bn yuan (£1.8bn) in the three months to March, beating analysts‘ expectations.

The online marketplace has appointed Daniel Zhang, currently Alibaba’s Chief Operating Officer, is to take over as CEO, effective from 10 May. He replaces Jonathan Lu who will remain on the board of directors as Vice Chairman. Lu was CEO for two years, a low-key leader who was frequently eclipsed by outspoken founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma.

Zhang is one of the original and founding members of the Alibaba Partnership, his tenure with the company having lasted eight years so far.

The Chinese e-commerce giant has 80% of Chinese online shopping, and operates its most popular online platform, Taobao. Yesterday the company said that the number of active annual users had risen by 37% to 350m.

Last month the group put a freeze on hiring, citing that the company was growing too fast. The group, founded by entrepreneur and billionaire Jack Ma, announced a hiring freeze last month, saying the company was growing too fast.

Maggie Wu, CFO, said Alibaba expected its growth on spending on new investments to outstrip growth in overall revenues.


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