Alibaba Group is taking another step toward globalizing its business with the announcement today that Michael Evans will take on the role of president — effective immediately. Evans’ new role will position him to lead the company’s international growth strategy, with a focus on developing business outside of China.
Evans, who spent 30 years working in global finance prior to joining Alibaba, will continue to serve as a management member of the Alibaba Group Board, having previously spent time as an independent director since the company went public last year.
“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,” Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said in a company statement. “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,” Zhang continued.
Evans will be responsible for accelerating Alibaba’s cross-border commerce growth by utilizing the company’s platforms and access to 350 million Chinese consumers. Key strategic partnerships with brands and retailers across the globe, specifically within the European and U.S. markets, and connecting them to China’s consumer’s market will be a top priority for the new president, the company explained, while also fostering quality experiences for Alibaba’s consumers and merchants in China.
“I am delighted that Michael has agreed to take on this important new challenge,” Alibaba Group Executive Chairman Jack Ma stated. “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.”
To his new position as Alibaba Group President, Evans brings 20 years of experience as a Partner of Goldman Sachs, where he served as Vice Chairman, head of Global Growth Markets, and Chairman of Asia. Evans also held leadership roles in the Securities and Investment Banking Divisions before leaving the firm in 2014.
“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,” Evans said.