Alibaba Introduces More Agile Organizational Structure to Accelerate Domestic and International Growth

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Alibaba Introduces More Agile Organizational Structure to Accelerate Domestic and International Growth

Photo credit: Alibaba Group



Alibaba Group announced organizational changes and leadership appointments on Monday to better drive synergies across its consumer and wholesale commerce platforms both in China and globally, as the company continues to invest in its two strategic pillars of domestic consumption and globalization.

In a letter to employees, Alibaba Group Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang outlined his strategy and leadership changes. The newly-formed International Digital Commerce will bring together Alibaba’s overseas consumer-facing and wholesale businesses under the leadership of Jiang Fan. In addition, Alibaba veteran Trudy Dai will lead the new China Digital Commerce that combines Alibaba’s China consumer-facing and wholesale marketplaces. 

“As we continue to build a multi-engine approach to drive future growth, a ‘diversified business governance’ will become Alibaba’s new organizational strategy as we look towards the future,” wrote Zhang in his letter. “We want to explore new business governance approaches to drive more innovation and creativity across our teams and businesses.” 

According to the letter, the new organizational announcement is Alibaba’s latest initiative to “empower [its] organization to become more agile” as the company looks ahead to the new year.

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Singapore-headquartered Lazada delivers to consumers across Southeast Asia. Photo credit: Alibaba Group

Globalization Commitment

The newly-established International Digital Commerce will include AliExpress, Alibaba.com and Lazada, the central business units powering Alibaba’s globalization strategy. In its last quarterly earnings, the company announced its annual active consumers (AAC) overseas reached 285 million and reiterated its ambitious goal of serving 2 billion consumers globally.

“We will continue to focus on becoming a truly globalized company, and we believe that overseas markets present many exciting potential and opportunities for us to capture,” wrote Zhang in his letter. “We have confidence in our local teams, and we are charting a path forward with a holistic strategic blueprint and organizational stability for winning our overseas markets.”

Prior to his new role, Jiang Fan, who joined Alibaba in 2013, had been the President of Taobao and Tmall, leading two of Alibaba’s most successful consumer marketplaces in China. Under his leadership over the past seven years, Taobao and Tmall have transformed into a mobile-first commerce ecosystem with an innovative user experience, such as personalization and content-driven engagement. Before joining Alibaba, Jiang founded and served as CEO for leading mobile analytics solutions company Umeng. His track record as a mobile commerce entrepreneur and a proven driver of innovation will help the company achieve its ambitious goals globally. 

“Over the past seven years, Jiang Fan has made revolutionary contributions to Taobao and Tmall’s progressive mobile transformation, personalization and content-driven user experience,” wrote Zhang. “Under his leadership, we believe he can help the local teams pioneer more innovation in developing our overseas markets.” 

Powering Domestic Consumption

Similar to the international commerce integration, Alibaba also announced the combination of all domestic commerce businesses to foster more collaboration and synergy across business units to serve its consumers and customers better. The company appointed Alibaba veteran Trudy Dai to lead the new China Digital Commerce.

An Alibaba founding member and partner, Dai has served various leadership roles within the company over the years. She has strong expertise across the China consumption sector, a keen understanding of consumer needs and deep knowledge of the Alibaba ecosystem. Between 2014 and 2017, Dai was Alibaba’s Chief Customer Officer, and prior to that, led different business units and critical corporate functions. Since January 2017, she has served as president of Alibaba’s Industrial E-commerce, including Alibaba.com, 1688.com, AliExpress and Taobao Deals. In March 2021, she became president of Alibaba’s community marketplace Taocaicai. 

Under Dai’s leadership, Taocaicai and Taobao Deals have seen exponential growth, tapping into consumer demand from lower-tier cities. In the September Quarter of 2021, AACs on Taobao Deals grew to more than 240 million, while Taocaicai’s GMV saw an over 150% quarter-over-quarter increase.

“We believe Trudy’s deep experience and understanding of the China market, exceptional leadership skills and unique insights as a female leader will help drive Alibaba’s continued market leadership in the China consumption sector,” wrote Zhang.

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