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Alibaba replaces head of delivery arm Ele.me in latest reshuffle

Tan KW
Publish date: Fri, 01 Mar 2024, 11:48 PM
Tan KW
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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has replaced the head of businesses from mapping to meal delivery service Ele.me, splitting his duties between younger-generation executives in its latest management change-up.

Yu Yongfu, one of Alibaba’s partners and longest-serving executives, will step down at the end of March, a company representative said. His empire then gets split between several managers: Chief Technology Officer Wu Zeming becomes chairman of Ele.me, while Han Liu will take the chief executive’s role. Liu Zhenfei and Guo Ning take the same roles at Amap, one of China’s largest mapping and navigation services, the spokesperson said.

Yu becomes the latest Alibaba veteran to step down as the company shakes up the ranks in a broader campaign to recover from two years of regulatory scrutiny and Covid-era economic turbulence. He follows fellow partner Trudy Dai, who quit her position as head of the core e-commerce business, and the departure of longstanding CEO Daniel Zhang.

Yu headed the local services business, one of Alibaba’s smaller divisions. Despite having over 390 million annual active consumers by the end of 2023, the division remains loss-making. Unlike the cloud and commerce arms, it’s mainly a collection of smaller online services, the best-known being the Ele.me platform that competes with Meituan in food delivery. Meituan shares rose more than 10% on Friday, its biggest gain since 2022.

Alibaba acquired Ele.me, which means “are you hungry,” in 2018 but it’s long lagged bigger rival Meituan in China. Amap, which Alibaba took over in 2014, is a mobile digital maps provider that competes with Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd and is considered a key player in the emergent autonomous driving arena.

Alibaba CEO Eddie Wu announced the management changes in an internal memo, saying Yu will support the company’s overseas businesses in future, according to a person familiar with the matter.

 


  - Bloomberg

 

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