Alibaba Replaces Lazada CEO

Lazada Group

China’s Alibaba Group has replaced the CEO of its Lazada Group eCommerce platform amid an intensifying battle for control of the Southeast Asian internet economy.

As Bloomberg News reported Friday (June 3), James Dong, who had been running Alibaba’s Thailand business, has been named new chief executive, replacing Chun Li.

Li will remain with the company as an adviser to Lazada Group Chairman Jiang Fan and retain a seat on the board.

As Bloomberg noted, Lazada is competing for customers with companies such as eCommerce platform Tokopedia and shopping app Shopee, which is expanding into Latin America.

PYMNTS reported last month on that expansion, which includes Shopee’s plan to offer payment services to customers in Brazil.

Read more: Brazil Central Bank OKs Singapore’s Shopee App as Payment Services Provider

Dong is a veteran of the consulting firm McKinsey, and served as head of globalization strategy and corporate development for Alibaba Group and a business assistant to its CEO Daniel Zhang before becoming Lazada’s chief executive in Thailand in 2018.

In 2019, he took on the added role of CEO for Vietnam, overseeing an effort to improve logistics and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic’s fourth wave was at its peak last summer, Lazada quadrupled its orders from the previous year.

The company also doubled the number of shoppers on Lazada Vietnam in the third quarter of last year from the year before, while its mall marked a record revenue with a growth rate of more than four times, the company has said.

“Since James joined Lazada in 2018, he has quickly delivered success in his various roles,” Lazada said in its statement.

See also:’s Caplan Announces Departure

Alibaba has already seen some high-profile departures this year. In March, John Caplan, head of’s operations in Europe and North American and its global president/CMO, announced he was leaving the company. He was later named co-CEO of commerce tech company Payoneer.

That announcement came just days after Alibaba said it was seeking a new CEO for its flagship media property the South China Morning Post (SCMP), as chief executive Gary Liu shifted to running the company new NFT spinoff.