Going Public? Jing Xiandong Replaces Peng Lei As The New CEO Of Ant Financial
摘要： Jack Ma stated in the email that Peng Lei would represent Ant Financial as the board chairman, focusing on the long-term development of the company, globalization strategy, talent pool and corporate culture, while CEO Jing Xiandong would lead the team on business and execution.
On October 8th, Alibaba’s founder Jack Ma, announced in a company email that starting from October 16th, Ant Financial’s board chairman Peng Lei would pass her position as the CEO to Jing Xiandong.
Jack Ma stated in the email that Peng Lei would represent Ant Financial as the board chairman, focusing on the long-term development of the company, globalization strategy, talent pool and corporate culture, while CEO Jing Xiandong would lead the team on business and execution.
It’s learned that Ant Financial’s new CEO Jing Xiandong has 20 years of experience in financial management and operation. Jing joined Alibaba in early 2007 and was Alipay’s CFO, a year-long partner of Peng Lei. In 2014, Ant Financial was established and Jing was appointed as the COO. He has been Ant Financial’s president since June last year.
Peng Lei, who just passed her position as the CEO to Jing, was one of the orginal founders of Alibaba. In 2010, she became the Alipay’s CEO. Before that she was the CPO(Chief Talent Officer) of Alibaba. In October 2014, Ant Financial was officially founded, with Peng Lei as the board chairman and CEO.
TMTpost learned that Peng Lei seldom appears in public events, a Jing Xiandong handles most of the interviews and publicity events. “I can’t feel any happier seeing him achieve something I couldn’t pull off,” Peng Lei commented, in response to Jing’s takeover. She added that Eric(Jing Xiandong) is her best partner, who has given her incredible support, and that Jing earned the title himself.
A little known fact is that Zhang Yong, who took Jack Ma’s place as the CEO, and Jing Xiandong, were born in the same year. Apart from that, they were both CFO once. “Jing Xiandong had never failed to surprise us with new achievements during the ten years at Alibaba, whether as the CFO, or at the User Department, as the COO or as the president of Ant Financial,” Jack Ma wrote.
Jack Ma also joked that Zhang Yong and Jing Xiandong’s takeover was a big challenge, as he had stated once “I fear nothing, except when a CFO becomes the CEO”.
No coincidence, no story. On October 6th, a Hong Kong based media reported that Ant Financial is communicating with the investment bank Alibaba had worked with on going public. Rumor had it that Ant Financial was planning to go public in the HK stock exchange, and the IPO was scheduled in the first half of next year. However, Ant Financial denied such rumors officially later. But the major shift of personnel structure, former CFO becoming the CEO, inevitably once again provokes such thinking.
Jack Ma also voiced out Ant Financial’s goal and positioning. “I have always believed that China doesn’t need another financial company. What the country really needs is a service company that focuses on serving small and micro companies and ordinary consumers,” Jack Ma said. “When Alipay was first founded, we hoped to create financial services that are fair, open, transparent, and benefiting to the public.”
The following is Jack Ma’s email content:
Greetings to everyone at Alibaba and Ant Financial:
The past six years have been incredible.
Peng Lei and her team had been holding on to the Internet spirit, mindset and technologies they got in the very beginning of Alipay and continued to innovate. The time called on them. From a simple third-party payment platform, they have made payment, small loan, insurance, financial management, credit system service available on our platform, almost probing into every uncharted sectors of the new finance industry.
They are a passionate team with a sense of responsibility. Ants are tiny but they can move rocks. Through small efforts they have pulled off something we could never imagine to have more than 10 years ago when we first launched Alipay. Now we have made financial services accessible to both ordinary people and small companies that were once exclusive to big enterprises. We have built up a credit system based on the Internet, realizing the philosophy of “credit equals wealth”. We provoked the innovation trend in the Chinese financial system, making a big impact on the global financial system as well. We are making it more transparent, fair, open and more trustworthy.
Ordinary people can do extraordinary things. We will keep on proving this fact.
I have always believed that China doesn’t need another financial company. What the country really needs is a service company that focuses on serving small and micro companies and ordinary consumers. When Alipay was first founded, we hoped to create financial services that are fair, open, transparent, and benefiting to the public. We want the mutual sincerity and trust between people to be the backbone of finance.
In the past six years, Ant Financial has been working on this goal. Today we are not proud of how much we make, but how much we have changed. For us, our strength does not lie in how large of a market we have conquered, but how competitive a team we have built. We have a team that’s even a leading force globally.
Ant Financial has come a long way, and we do have gained amazing achievements in talent pool, organization structure and corporate culture development. We have new blood coming to our company consistently, and it allows us to go for what we want. We give young people bigger responsibilities, a stage where they shine and opportunities to challenge themselves. Starting from October 16th, Peng Lei will pass on her position as the CEO of Ant Financial to Jing Xiandong, and focus on the long-term development of the company, globalization strategy, talent pool and corporate culture. The new CEO Jing Xiandong on the other hand will lead the team on business and execution.
Zhang Yong and Jing Xiandong were actually born in the same year. Apart from that, they were both CFO once(this really contradicts my previous “I fear nothing, except when a CFO becomes the CEO” comment). Jing Xiandong had never failed to surprise us with new achievements during the ten years at Alibaba, whether as the CFO, or at the User Department, as the COO or as the president of Ant Financial. I have faith in him, that he will bring new fire to Alipay and carries it to a new realm with his professional knowledge, extraordinary management ability and strong faith in the prospect of the Internet industry. I believe he and Ant Financial’s team will build a new world and bring about more surprises in the future.
I would like to take this opportunity, representing all partners, the board, and myself, to show our gratitude to Peng Lei, who has made tremendous contribution to the development of the company. During the past incredible six years, Peng Lei showed her great leadership that’s forged with woman’s unique insight, clarity, and persistence. She’s truly a backbone of the company. In public’s eyes, Peng Lei might be a famous entrepreneur that has been on renowned magazines as a successful and influential person around the globe. But she is a family to us. She is always a family that nurtures Alibaba’s corporate culture and value, the spiritual guardian of Alibaba. We are lucky enough to have her here. I will continue to partner with her on the development of our corporate culture to help more young people grow.
The global financial industry is facing great challenges and opportunities presented by technological revolutions just like many other industries are. The traditional financial service industry was based upon the large-scale and standardized traditional manufacturing industry, and therefore it faces the challenges from new and innovative financial service provides that are more customized and intelligent in the 21st century. The world is looking forward to having a more transparent, fairer, and greener finance system. This is our challenge, and opportunity as well. Ant Financial, we make the future better!
October 8th 2016
What follows is Peng Lei’s response:
From the intial Alipay, to Ant Financial, I always feel blessed to be able to have such a big family. I really appreciate the past six years and nine months with everybody. There’s nothing more that could be more precious than the trust and friendship I gained in our team. It’s my greatest luck to be part of the passionate team to do something meaningful with you.
I appreciate everyone’s efforts at Ant Financial. Your creative ideas, passion, and ability really inspired and impressed me. Just like Jack Ma, I was a teacher in the beginning. And for a teacher, seeing young people doing better than us older ones is my greatest bliss.
The time gives everyone a stage where they can give everything they have to build a better future. I, from the bottom of my heart, am excited for the miracles everyone has made today. We as a team have helped small companies find hope, letting everyone live better. Younger, professional, innovative and talented generations will continue to join this broad stage.
Eric’s passion, strong mind, and optimism have always inspired and encouraged me. He’s my best partner, who has given me great support. Eric has shown his excellent and rigorous professionalism in the past few years. He’s fair and just. He always cheers everyone us with a natural ecstacy. He earned the CEO position. We have every reason to look forward to the future Ant Financial under Eric’s leadership!
I will continue to accompany everyone on this path. I will focus more on the long-term development of the company, globalization strategy, talent pool and corporate culture. Meanwhile, I will also give my full support to Eric to bring forth more value and more amazing surprises to our users.
Go! Ant Financial, we make the future better!
[The article is published and edited with authorization from the author @TMTpost, please note source and hyperlink when reproduce.]
Translated by Garrett Lee (Senior Translator at PAGE TO PAGE), working for TMTpost.