Alibaba hires for­mer Gold­man banker Evans as pres­i­dent

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd has hired for­mer Gold­man Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) part­ner Michael Evans to over­see the ecom­merce com­pany's in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion, a top pri­or­ity as the firm looks be­yond China to sus­tain its heady growth rates.

Evans, who spent two decades at the in­vest­ment bank in po­si­tions in­clud­ing vice chair­man and head of Asia, has oc­cu­pied a board seat at Alibaba since mid-2014, be­fore the com­pany held a record-set­ting public list­ing in New York.

Alibaba, by far the largest ecom­merce player in China, said hir­ing Evans sig­naled its in­ten­tion to ramp up cross-bor­der com­merce in earnest af­ter it spent years fo­cus­ing on se­cur­ing its do­mes­tic mar­ket po­si­tion.

Top ex­ec­u­tives have long touted the idea that con­nect­ing in­creas­ingly wealthy Chi­nese con­sumers with, say, South Amer­i­can meat pro­duc­ers or Euro­pean toy mak­ers would gen­er­ate bil­lions in ad­di­tional rev­enue for the firm. Evans, who once headed Gold­man's eq­uity un­der­writ­ing arm, has no di­rect ex­pe­ri­ence in e-com­merce but is trusted by Alibaba's man­age­ment, hav­ing known founder Jack Ma and vice chair­man Joseph Tsai for years.

He will con­tinue as a man­age­ment di­rec­tor and lead Alibaba' growth strat­egy out­side of China, re­port­ing di­rectly to Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Daniel Zhang, the com­pany said. His po­si­tion is newly cre­ated. Zhang said in a state­ment that glam­or­iza­tion is Alibaba Group's most im­por­tant strat­egy for the com­ing decades.

He added that Evans 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."

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