Alibaba has appointed a new CEO at its e-commerce firm in Southeast Asia known as Lazada. Previous CEO Lucy Peng stepped down to be replaced by Lazada executive president Pierre Poignant after just nine months in the role.
The company owns 90 percent of Lazada and has been involved in the business since April 2016 when it bought 51 percent of Lazada for $1 billion from Rocket Internet.
Also, after the acquisition Alibaba invested a further $1 billion last year to increase its equity to around 83 percent and earlier this year it raised its stake even higher with an additional $2 billion injection.
Lazada operates in six countries across Southeast Asia, but there are very few indicators of how the business is performing. Alibaba’s own financial reports bundle Lazada with the firm’s other international businesses. Collectively, they grossed RMB 4.5 billion ($650 million) in the last quarter.
Lazada itself said it broke records, butthe only data it provided was that 20 million shoppers were “browsing andgrabbing” deals on its site — you’ll note that statement doesn’t explicitly provide sales. Against that backdrop, it is hard to say whether Peng was brought in as a stop-gap while Lazada searched for a new CEO.
Lazada has certainly gone about installing new executive teams in many local markets, according to sources within the company, but it isn’t clear whether Peng is being recalled as planned or whether things didn’t work out as expected.