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Michael Evans is new president of Alibaba

By Simone Preuss

Aug 10, 2015

With immediate effect, Michael Evans, former partner at investment firm Goldman Sachs, is the new president of China's Alibaba Group, the world's largest online and mobile commerce company in terms of gross merchandise volume. The new position was created especially for Evans who has been a member of the management board since the company's initial public offering in September 2014.

"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."

As president, the 58-year-old Canadian will be responsible for the international development of the internet giant, which is often described as the Chinese version and a combination of Amazon and Ebay. However, Alibaba is far larger and its services are more differentiated. Annually, Alibaba sells products worth 170 billion US dollars, more than both US rivals together. Now, Alibaba wants to expand its global reach.

"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," commented Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang.

Alibaba operates various internet platforms, among them popular online marketplace Taobao, China's largest online shopping destination, and Tmall, the country's largest third-party platform for brands and retailers. Evans spent 20 years in various leadership positions for Goldman Sachs in Asia. For Alibaba, he will "forge 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" according to a press release by the company.

"I am honored to be joining Alibaba and excited by the opportunity to lead Alibaba's international growth strategy. I look forward to joining Daniel's management team and working with a terrific group of people with whom I've developed strong relationships," commented Evans his appointment.

Image: Alibaba Group