Alibaba announces succession plan

Toby Xu, the Deputy Chief Financial Officer of e-commerce company, Alibaba Group, will succeed Maggie Wu as CFO effective 1 April 2022.

Wu will continue as partner in the Alibaba Partnership and serve as an Executive Director on the Alibaba Board.

“Maggie has made exceptional contributions that are instrumental to Alibaba’s achievements to date,” said Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO, Daniel Zhang.

“Since joining Alibaba almost fifteen years ago, Maggie has helped lead three successful company public listings as CFO: Alibaba.com on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2007, and Alibaba Group Holding on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2019.

“She has built and nurtured a finance team with professional capabilities and accomplishments second to none, and has served as our bedrock in pursuing Alibaba’s strategies and business development. Maggie is forever calm and unflappable, regardless of ups and downs in the global capital markets and macro environment.

“She is humble and resilient, and has been my irreplaceable and closest partner over the years.

“Going forward, Maggie will leverage her deep experience to support Alibaba in new ways. We will continue to benefit from her guidance and insights in her continued role as an Alibaba board director.”

Succession within the management team, according to Zhang, is always in the service of ensuring Alibaba will be stronger and better positioned for the future.

“Toby joined Alibaba from PwC three years ago and was appointed Deputy Group CFO in July 2019,” said Zhang.

“He swiftly demonstrated his solid capabilities and leadership in response to our continually evolving businesses. He took on increasing responsibilities that grew to include our strategic investments, in addition to financial management and operations. We are certain that Toby is the right person to serve as our new Group CFO and, together with the core management team, will help lead our team towards our next success.”

This succession, Wu explained, is the culmination of extensive preparation of many years.

“The markets will always have ups and downs, but Alibaba has ambitious long-term goals,” she said.

“We are in a relay race and we must have new generations of talent to take the company forward. I trust Toby even more than I trusted myself when I first took up the CFO position years ago. I am confident that Toby – through his professional capabilities and leadership skills, and together with Daniel and the core management team – will successfully lead our team into the future.”

Xu joined Alibaba in July 2018 and was appointed Deputy Chief Financial Officer in July 2019. Before joining Alibaba Group, Xu was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers for 11 years, where he joined in 1996. He serves as a director of Sun Art Retail Group, Lianhua Supermarket Holdings and Red Star Macalline Group. Toby graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, China, with a bachelor’s degree in Physics in 1996. He is a member of the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Last month, Alibaba reported financial results for the quarter ended 30 September 2021.

Revenue for the reported period was $31,147 million USD, an increase of 29 per cent year-over-year.

The Alibaba Ecosystem worldwide has reached approximately 1.24 billion, an increase of about 62 million from the 12 months ended 30 June 2021. This includes 953 million consumers in China and 285 million consumers overseas, representing a quarterly net increase of 41 million and 20 million respectively.

For the September 2021 quarter, Alibaba, according to Zhang, continued to invest in domestic consumption, globalisation and cloud computing to establish solid foundations for long-term sustainable growth.

Taobao Deals exhibited robust user growth, particularly with food and beverage offerings. It launched programs that incentivised bundled purchases delivered from self-operated warehouses which reduced costs and improved the delivery experience for consumers.

Meanwhile, new retail businesses built on expanding digital supply chain and increasinly diversified their fulfilment services.

Cainiao Network continues to expand its global infrastructure by strengthening its end-to-end logistics capabilities, including international freight service, destination warehousing and fulfilment, and last-mile delivery service enablement. As of 30 September 2021, Cainiao operated over three million square metres of warehouses dedicated to cross-border businesses.

Cainiao has launched initiatives to improve the shopping experience for international consumers by launching self-pickup lockers in four European countries where AliExpress has operations.

Cainiao Post continues to expand its coverage into less-developed areas of China to improve delivery efficiency. As of 30 September 2021, Cainiao Post covered more than 1,000 counties and towns in less developed areas of China with the number of daily packages handled in these markets growing over 280 per cent year-over-year.

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