Ant Financial and e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd both announced this Thursday a series of executive changes, as part of the Group’s executive shuffle. Namely, Ant Financial has secured Simon Hu as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Ant Financial is the fintech affiliate of Alibaba Group. According to a memo seen by Reuters, Hu will be replacing Eric Jing as the CEO, who will remain as the executive chairman of Ant Financial, a position he held concurrently with his former role of CEO.
Simon Hu joined Alibaba in 2005
Hu has been part of the Alibaba Group since 2005 and has served as president of Ant Financial since November of last year. Previous to this, he held positions in cloud computing and SME loan divisions of the Group. Hu will report to Jing.
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In addition to Hu’s appointment, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Ant Financial, Cheng Li, will replace Jeff Zhang as the CTO of Alibaba, the internal letter said. Similar to Jing, Zhang will stay on as the chairman of the Alibaba Technology Committee, Dean of Alibaba’s DAMO Academy and president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence.
According to the news outlet, the letter also revealed that Jiang Fan, who is the president of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall e-commerce sites, will also oversee the company’s Alimama advertising unit.
“From where we stand today, we can clearly see the need for multiple business groups to have complex collaborations in each of our strategic pillars in order to win success,” Daniel Zhang, the CEO of Alibaba Group wrote in the memo.
The appointment of Hu comes as Ant Financial is nearing its initial public offering (IPO), although the company has yet to specify a date or venue. As Finance Magnates reported, Alibaba Group, China’s biggest e-commerce company, acquired 33 per cent of its payments affiliate Ant Financial, which houses the Alipay payment processing system and other financial services.