Lazada continues to replace new CEO
TechinAsia reports that Southeast Asian e-commerce giant Lazada has appointed James Dong as the group’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately. Dong will replace Chun Li, who has led the company since July 2020.
Mr. Dong was previously the Managing Director of Lazada Thailand and Vietnam. In addition to this new appointment, he will continue as chief executive officer of Lazada Thailand and take over as CEO of Lazada Indonesia from Li.
This person joined Lazada in June 2018. Before that, Mr. Dong held a number of roles at Alibaba, including as a sales assistant to Group CEO Daniel Zhang. During his time at Alibaba, Mr. Dong promoted the Chinese giant’s e-commerce globalization strategy and portfolio management, including Lazada’s merger into Alibaba.
A Lazada spokesperson told Tech in Asia that although Li has stepped down from his current role, he will continue to act as an advisor to Jiang Fan, president of Lazada Group. Li will also hold a seat on Lazada’s board of directors.
Kaya Qin is the new CEO of Lazada Vietnam. She joined Lazada in June 2018 as the CEO of Lazada Vietnam.
Continuous leadership reform
Mr. Dong is the 5th person to be appointed Lazada CEO within five years. Since original founder Maximilian Bittner left in 2018, Lazada’s appointed CEOs have included Lucy Peng (2018), Pierre Poicy (2018 to 2020) and Li (2020 to 2022).
Alibaba acquired control of Lazada in 2016 with an initial investment of $1 billion.
In May, the press simultaneously reported filing with the Accounting and Business Administration of Singapore, Lazada received another $378 million in funding from Alibaba.
Tech in Asia previously calculated that Alibaba invested around $4.4 billion in Lazada between 2018 and 2020. While this is a substantial sum, the figure is still behind the treasure trove of 6.6 billion USD of Shopee in the same period.
Meanwhile, Lazada is reportedly eyeing Europe for its first major expansion, gearing up for a potential IPO as an independent company. Previous analysis by TechinAsia suggests that splitting up from Lazada would attract a higher valuation.
Alibaba also revealed that its e-commerce operations in Southeast Asia totaled $21 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) for the one-year period ending September 2021.
The Hangzhou-based giant also said its next goal is to increase Lazada’s GMV fivefold to $100 billion, but Alibaba did not mention a specific timeframe for achieving that goal.
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