Chinese media outlet LatePost reported on Thursday that Gao Ziguang, Vice President of Xiaomi and General Manager of China Sales Department, left the company today, and his future career is yet to be determined.
Before leaving, Gao Ziguang was in charge of new retail businesses such as Mi.com and Mi Home, and was the core figure of Xiaomi’s current expansion of offline channels.
Gao joined Xiaomi in February 2014, and was solely responsible for Xiaomi’s e-commerce business in 2017. He spent two years to achieve the transaction volume from zero to 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion), which was recognized by Xiaomi’s founder Lei Jun. He is the youngest Vice President of Xiaomi.
Shang Jin, Vice President of Xiaomi and head of regional management department in China, will replace Gao to take charge of Xiaomi’s offline businesses in China, and report to Lu Weibing, Senior Vice President of Xiaomi and President of Xiaomi China.
Shang worked in Jinshan Group for many years and joined Xiaomi in 2013. He was responsible for Xiaomi’s entertainment business in its early stages. Later, he was transferred to promote the expansion of Xiaomi’s offline channels together with Lu Weibing and Gao Ziguang.
A number of Xiaomi executives said that Gao Ziguang’s departure was due to personal reasons and would not affect the expansion plan of Xiaomi’s offline channels. In June 2020, Xiaomi settled on a method to expand its offline presence, unifying the overall decorative style and service level to form Mi Home. In addition, Xiaomi’s self-developed retail system for managing distribution greatly improved the circulation efficiency of the company’s products.
According to Xiaomi’s financial report, as of the end of June, the number of Mi Homes in the Chinese mainland exceeded 7,600, up 52% from that at the end of the first quarter. However, during the same period, Xiaomi’s sales share in offline channels only increased by 11.4%.
In the conference call of Q2 financial report, Xiaomi President Wang Xiang was questioned by several analysts about the performance of offline channels. He responded that it takes time to set up new stores to increase mobile phone shipments, a challenge Xiaomi is currently trying to improve.
A person close to Mi Home business said that the number of Mi Homes is expected to exceed 12,000 this year. However, compared with the monthly increase of 1,000 in the first half of the year, the current growth speed has slowed down.