As Chinese regulators continue to crack down on tech giants, another tech entrepreneur has decided to step away from the leadership position. JD.com founder Richard Liu is handing over his frontline management position to one of his team members. Liu will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations. According to the company, Liu will shift his focus towards a long-term strategy of the company. He will also mentor young managers and will contribute to the development of rural areas. Lei will continue to be the chairman and CEO of the company. The company said that a new position for the role of president has been created. Xu Lei, who has been the chief executive officer of JD Retail, will be the president of the company. Lei will not handle day-to-day operations along with other business deals of the e-commerce giant. Several tech giants of China have undergone some major reshuffles in the leadership of late. Some of the prominent names are Alibaba, ByteDance, and Pinduoduo. Founders of most of these companies have now shifted to a long-term strategic role. Jack Ma stepped down as chairman of the company in 2019 and handed over the reins to Daniel Zhang. ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming stepped down as the CEP of the company earlier this year.
Liu said that the strong team of JD has full confidence in the company’s long-term business philosophy. “JD has a very strong management structure. The company has a large number of business leaders who have excelled in their fields. These leaders are represented by Mr. Xu. The team strongly believes in the company’s long-term business philosophy. The team is confident about doing even better with the extensive industry experience,” Liu said in a statement. There have been reports of Xu taking over the day-to-day affairs of the company for quite some time. This is because Liu has remained low profile in the past few years. Liu was arrested in the United States three years ago on allegations of rape. However, he was not charged. Liu started JD in 2004 and despite giving up a leadership position, he still owns around 80 percent of the voting rights of the company. In the past 15 years, the company has managed to establish itself as one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the country. Moreover, the company has expanded in new areas like including health and logistics.
There are two other major changes in the top leadership of the company. Xin Lijun, who was heading the health division of the company, will take over as the CEO of JD Retail as Xu Lei is set to take over the position of president of JD.com. Also, the company has decided to appoint Jin Enlin as the new CEO of JD Health. Enlin was earlier looking after the JD’s marketplace business. “Looking to the future, the best decision is to work towards the development of young talents. This requires a long-term strategy and will require a lot of coordination. JD will continue to work in this direction. The company would focus on the development of various business units while doing the right and most valuable things for the industry,” Liu was quoted as saying by media reports. Meanwhile, analysts said that Xu’s promotion is not at all surprising and he was a potential successor to Liu. Experts believe that Xu has proven his skill and leadership quality while heading operations at JD Retail.