Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com announced Thursday that company president Xu Lei has been appointed as the new CEO, succeeding Richard Liu, who will remain as the chairman of the board.
According to the announcement, Xu will be responsible for the daily operations of JD.com and will continue to report to Liu, while Liu will focus on guiding the company’s long-term strategies, mentoring younger management, and contributing to the revitalization of rural areas.
Liu’s resignation also means that he will further stay away from front-line daily business to focus on long-term strategy. However, according to 36Kr‘s sources, after leaving office, Liu will still participate in monthly meetings of JD.com‘s Strategy Executive Committee, and will not completely stay away from the company’s business.
JD.com said that at present, managers born in or after the 1980s account for 91% overall, and are becoming the company’s backbone. Xu has been with JD.com for over a decade. During his tenure as CEO of JD Retail, Xu led the division to achieve high-quality growth for several consecutive years. In his most recent role as president of JD.com, he was in charge of the operations and collaborative development of various business units within the company.
After more than three years of operations, the Strategic Executive Committee is composed of heads of various business sectors and functional systems, while the Strategic Decision Committee is composed of dozens of heads of front-line business departments. The two bodies have formed good collective decision-making and a quick response mechanism. In addition, JD Health also announced today that Xu has resigned as a non-executive director.
JD.com‘s Q4 financial report last year showed that its net income was 275.9 billion yuan ($43.3 billion), up 23% year-on-year, and its operating profit under Non-GAAP reached 2.8 billion yuan, better than the 1.2 billion yuan recorded in 2020.
Since last year, many founders of Chinese internet giants have announced their commitment to longer-term careers.
Zhang Yiming, founder of ByteDance, stepped down as CEO and chairman of the board of directors of the company in 2021, and was replaced by co-founder Liang Rubo. Zhang said he would focus on priorities such as long-term strategy, corporate culture and social responsibility, instead of daily operations.
Colin Huang, founder of e-commerce giant Pinduoduo, also stepped down as chairman in March last year. Huang said that he would devote himself to research in the fields of food science and life science in the future.