|The reception at Alibaba (China) Technology Co Ltd, a company under Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The group announced that Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi will be its new CEO, taking the position previously held by its founder, Jack Ma. Huang Zongzhi / Xinhua|
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, China's biggest e-commerce company, appointed a new CEO on Monday after founder Jack Ma said in January that he would step down from the post in May.
The move marks the first CEO handover among China's major Internet companies.
Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi, Alibaba's executive vice-president, will officially take over the post on May 10, while Ma, 48, will stay on as executive chairman. Analysts said the transition is not likely to bring big changes because the strategic decisions are still going to be made by Ma.
Lu, 43, is also the company's chief data officer and president of the unit in charge of the Aliyun mobile operating system. He has led three of Alibaba's major divisions since he joined the company in 2000.
"Not only has he contributed to building our culture and organization, but he has also developed many talented people, and he possesses a unique leadership style and charisma," Ma wrote in an e-mail sent on Monday to employees.
Lu launched the Guangdong sales team of Alibaba's business-to-business website Alibaba.com in 2000. He was the founding president of the company's online payment arm Alipay, and in 2008 served as president of Taobao.com, Alibaba's business-to-consumer website.
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