Alibaba Group appointment investment banker and Olympic gold medalist Michael Evans as its president effective Aug. 4 in a bid to become a global retailer.
Evans (pictured to the left) will continue his service as a management member of the Alibaba Group Board, having previously served as an independent director since the company’s initial public offering in September 2014.
Evans’ appointment highlights Alibaba Group’s strong commitment to globalizing its business. The company has made growing its business outside of China a top priority, and is also committed to significantly increasing cross-border trade between China and key markets.
“Michael has been a close advisor to Alibaba Group for many years, and we greatly value his deep knowledge of our business, his experience as a proven business builder and leader globally, and his more than 20 years of experience in China,” said Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang. “Globalization is Alibaba Group’s most important strategy for the coming decades, and our goal is to help 10 million global businesses and serve 2 billion consumers around the world. We have been laying the foundation for many years and now we need a global team in place with best-in-class talent to bring our vision to fruition. To that end, I can think of no one better than Michael to help Alibaba become a truly global company.”
In this new role, Evans will be responsible for leading and executing Alibaba Group’s international growth strategy to globalize the company and grow the business outside of China. He will report to Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang.
Evans will harness Alibaba Group’s leading platforms with direct access to 350 million Chinese consumers to drive increased levels of cross border commerce between China and the world. Evans’ early focus will be on forging close partnerships with key brands, retailers and product owners in Europe, the Americas and Asia to help these important players swiftly and efficiently connect to the large China consumer market. He will bring a strong emphasis on customer service, efficiency and productivity and, working closely with his colleagues in China, ensure that Alibaba will deliver a high quality experience to international merchants and consumers in China.
“I am delighted that Michael has agreed to take on this important new challenge,” said Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma. “As we connect Alibaba and the rest of the world, we are turning to a proven international leader who has been connecting China and the rest of the world for most of his career. Through his work on our board, he has built the trust and respect of our management team, and I have no doubt that he will make a significant contribution to our business.”
Prior to joining Alibaba, Evans spent 30 years in global finance, including the last 20 years as a Partner of Goldman Sachs, where he served as Vice Chairman, head of Global Growth Markets, and Chairman of Asia, in addition to leadership positions in the Securities and Investment Banking Divisions before leaving the firm in 2014. Evans is a member of the Board of Directors of Barrick Gold Corporation, Castleton Commodities International LLC and several not-for-profit organizations. Evans received his bachelor's degree in politics from Princeton University in 1981 and won an Olympic gold medal for his home country Canada as a member of the men’s eights rowing team in the Los Angeles 1984 Summer Olympics.
Alibaba Group is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
Alibaba Group’s major businesses include:
- Taobao Marketplace (www.taobao.com), China's largest online shopping destination
- Tmall.com (www.tmall.com), China’s largest third-party platform for brands and retailers
- Juhuasuan (www.juhuasuan.com), China’s most popular online group buying marketplace
- Alitrip (www.alitrip.com), a leading online travel booking platform
- AliExpress (www.aliexpress.com), a global online marketplace for consumers to buy directly from China
- Alibaba.com (www.alibaba.com), China’s largest global online wholesale platform for small businesses
- 1688.com (www.1688.com), a leading online wholesale marketplace in China
- Aliyun (www.aliyun.com), a provider of cloud computing services to businesses and entrepreneurs