China’s Alibaba Group has tapped its chief data officer to lead the company following the decision by company founder and head Jack Ma, to reduce his role in its daily operations.
Replacing Ma as the CEO of the Internet business-to-business sales giant is Jonathan Lu, who oversaw an eightfold increase in sales at the company’s Taobao auction website. Lu also led the effort to take Alibaba.com, the company’s Hong Kong-based website, private, the Wall Street Journal noted.
Lu, who received an M.B.A. from the China Europe International Business School, will become Alibaba’s second CEO after Ma. The new CEO received a strong statement of support from Ma, who is expected to remain a significant presence inside the company.
In January, Ma announced that he would step down as CEO in May, becoming executive chairman, and possibly setting the stage for a IPO.