Alibaba overhauls e-commerce businesses, appoints new CFO as it faces headwinds on multiple fronts

man walks past alibaba logo at headquarters
Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, is one of many companies criticized for its grueling work culture.

  • Alibaba will form two new units to house its main domestic and international e-commerce businesses.
  • The company announced deputy CFO, Toby Xu, will succeed current CFO Maggie Wu from April.
  • The changes come as Alibaba faces headwinds on multiple fronts.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said on Monday it was reorganizing its international and domestic e-commerce businesses and would appoint a new chief financial officer.

The changes come as Alibaba faces headwinds on multiple fronts, including increased competition, a slowing economy, and a regulatory crackdown.

Alibaba said it would form two new units to house its main e-commerce businesses — international digital commerce and China digital commerce — in a bid to become more agile and accelerate growth.

The international digital commerce unit will house Alibaba’s overseas consumer-facing and wholesale businesses, and include AliExpress,, and Lazada. The unit will be headed by Jiang Fan, formerly president of the Taobao and marketplaces.

Alibaba will house its domestic commerce businesses in the China digital commerce unit which will be led by Trudy Dai, a founding member of Alibaba, it said.

The company’s deputy chief financial officer, Toby Xu, will succeed Maggie Wu as the company’s chief financial officer from April, it said, describing his appointment as part of the company’s leadership succession plan.

Xu joined Alibaba from PWC three years ago and was appointed deputy CFO in July 2019.

Wu, who helped lead three Alibaba-related company public listings as CFO, will continue to serve as an executive director on Alibaba’s board.

The e-commerce giant’s Hong Kong-listed shares slid 8% in early morning trading, tracking Friday declines made in the United States. US-listed shares of Chinese firms tumbled on concerns about stricter regulatory scrutiny at home in the wake of plans by Didi Global Inc. to delist from the New York Stock Exchange.

Last month the company slashed its forecast for annual revenue growth to its slowest pace since its 2014 stock market debut and saw sales at its banner event, online shopping festival Singles Day, grow at their slowest rate ever.


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