Ant Group CEO Simon (Xiaoming) Hu on Friday evening announced that he would be stepping down from his role at the firm, after an internal email was obtained by domestic media outlet 36Kr.
Following the move, current Ant Group chairman Eric (Xiandong) Jing will also temporarily take up the post of CEO until a permanent decision regarding Hu’s replacement is finalized. Hu’s tenure at the company has not been completed, as he will continue to be involved with ecological and social welfare-related projects at Ant Group.
Ant Group, previously known as Ant Financial and Alipay, is a subsidiary of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba, which was founded in 1999 by the Internet entrepreneur Jack Ma. The firm has since come to serve as one of the world’s leading digital finance platforms and is currently valued at $316 billion.
In November of 2020, government authorities called a halt to Ant Group’s bid at an IPO, in what would have been the largest public bidding in history.
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Hu was appointed to the position of CEO at Ant Group in 2019, following a “major structural upgrade” to the company’s management. His promotion followed several years in the role of President of Alibaba Cloud, presiding over a period which witnessed profound growth for the wireless service.
Closely involved in the early development of Alipay, one of the tech giant’s most iconic features, Hu has enjoyed a long history with the firm. In response to the internal sent on Friday evening, the company thanked Hu for his tenure in the role of CEO.