On April 7, the company announced that Richard Liu would no longer serve as CEO of JD.com, and Xu Lei would take over the position. Liu, who owns a controlling stake with 77% of voting power, will continue to serve as the company’s chairman.
Xu Lei will be responsible for daily operations of JD Group and continue to report to Liu, who will devote more energy to long-term strategic planning, major strategic decisions, training of young leading talents and rural revitalization.
Why it matters
Liu’s departure as CEO of JD.com comes after many recent resignations of China’s major Internet CEOs, including Jack Ma, Colin Huang, Zhang Yiming. According to analysts, reducing the impact of individuals on the business is an important measure for those Chinese companies to optimize the corporate structure. These Internet leaders will focus more on company strategy as they take a step back to ensure long-term success.
Xu Lei has been with JD.com for over 10 years. JD Group commented: “Mr. Xu Lei helped the company build a marketing system for the big market, a product development system for the mobile terminal and a platform operation system around user lifecycle management. He cultivated a number of excellent teams and made outstanding contributions to the construction of the JD brand and the strategy of transforming to the mobile terminal.”