JD.com appoints new president, founder to focus on long-term strategy

Richard Liu, Founder and CEO of JD.com.

Billy HC Kwok | Bloomberg | Getty Images

GUANGZHOU, China – Richard Liu, founder and CEO of JD.com, is stepping back from day-to-day operations while the Chinese e-commerce giant claims to have created a new presidential role.

Xu Lei, who was previously CEO of JD Retail, will take on the role of President and take on the day-to-day running of JD.com and the joint development of various areas of the company’s business.

In the meantime, Liu will remain chairman and CEO, but will focus on formulating the e-commerce giant’s long-term strategies, mentoring younger management and “helping to revitalize rural areas,” the company said.

The latest moves come as China’s tech giants including Alibaba, ByteDance and Pinduoduo have undergone a leadership reshuffle in recent years, with the founders taking on more of a long-term strategic role.

“JD has a solid management structure with a large number of excellent executives who, represented by Mr. Lei Xu, firmly believe in JD’s long-term business philosophy, proven leadership skills and extensive industry experience,” Liu said in a statement.

It has been rumored for some time that Xu will take over the day-to-day running of the company. Liu has remained fairly unremarkable after being arrested in the United States in 2018 on rape allegations. Liu was not charged.

Liu still owns approximately 80% of the voting rights in JD.com. Founded in 2004, JD has grown into one of the largest e-commerce companies in China, expanding into areas such as health and logistics.

There were two other management changes. Xin Lijun will take on the role of CEO of JD Retail, having previously headed JD Health. Jin Enlin has been named CEO of JD Health, having previously been responsible for the company’s marketplace business.

“Looking ahead, the right long-term strategic design, the growth and development of young talent, and the healthy and coordinated development of various business areas will continue to be the driving force for JD to do the toughest and most challenging, but right and most valuable things for the industry “said Liu.

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