Alibaba Enlarges Share Repurchase Plan, Appoints New Independent Director to Board

Alibaba Group announced Tuesday that the company’s board has authorized the raising of its share repurchase program to $25 billion from the previous level of $15 billion. In addition, Weijian Shan, executive chairman of investment group PAG, has been appointed as an independent director to the company’s board.

The share repurchase program will be effective for a two-year period through March 2024. As of March 18, 2022, the company had purchased a total of 56.2 million American depositary shares under the previously announced share repurchase program, for a total consideration of approximately $9.2 billion.

Shan’s appointment as an independent director will be effective March 31, 2022, and he will serve on the board’s audit committee. Börje Ekholm, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ericsson Group, will retire from the company’s board on March 31, 2022. Ekholm has served as an independent director on the company’s board since June 2015.

Shan is the executive chairman and a founder of PAG – one of Asia’s leading independent alternative investment management groups with more than $50 billion in capital under management as of this month. He became PAG’s chairman and CEO, and founded its private equity business in 2010.

Shan is also a member of the International Advisory Council of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. He served as an independent director of Singapore-listed Wilmar International Limited between 2018 and 2021.

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“I have been deeply impressed with the growth and achievements of Alibaba, and with how it has positively changed lives of so many consumers and businesses in China and elsewhere. It served about 1 billion consumers in China and 300 million around the world in 2021 alone. I feel honored to be invited by the board to serve as an independent director. I look forward to contributing the little I know to help the company achieve its long-term goals,” said Shan.