Alibaba CEO steps down despite rise in profits

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba have announced that CEO Johnathan Lu is stepping down from his role, regardless of the firm recording increased profits.

Yesterday Alibaba announced its financial results for the quarter ending on the 31st March. Although quarterly gross merchandise volume (GMV) for March 2015 (600bn RMB) isn’t as high as December’s numbers (787bn RMB), it’s a significant increase from this time last year, with Alibaba reporting 40% year-on-year growth.

‘‘Alibaba had a strong quarter with significant growth across our key operating metrics. We grew revenue, gross merchandise volume and annual active buyers, and we expanded our unrivalled leadership position in mobile,’’ stated Jonathan Lu, chief executive officer of Alibaba group.

One of the most impressive aspects of Alibaba’s latest economic quarter is their mobile GMV. Mobile revenue increased to 304bn RMB, a 157 per cent increase on March 2014.

‘‘GMV across our China retail marketplaces grew 40% year-on-year, and our annual active buyers increased to 350 million, an increase of 37% year-on-year. We extended our strong leadership position in mobile to 289 million monthly active users on our mobile e-commerce apps in the month of March and US$49 billion in mobile GMV during the March quarter,’’ continued Lu.

The e-commerce firm took the opportunity of announcing that on May 10th, CEO Johnathan Lu will relinquish his role and Daniel Zhang, currently chief operating officer of Alibaba will replace him.

‘‘Current CEO, Jonathan Lu, will work with Daniel to ensure a successful transition in the coming months. Jonathan will remain on the board of directors of Alibaba Group as Vice Chairman. In this capacity Jonathan will play an important role in developing future leaders of Alibaba Group,’’ said a statement from Alibaba.



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