The Strategist

Alibaba Group Hooked Goldman Sachs' Former Vice-Chairman

08/05/2015 - 15:08

One of the world's largest online retailers - Chinese Alibaba Group announced the appointment to the post of the company’s President a well-known investment banker, former vice-chairman of the US bank Goldman Sachs, Michael Evans. Alibaba believes that Evans’ experience in international markets will enable him to actively develop business outside of China.

Rico Shen
Rico Shen
In a statement, Alibaba Group said that "the appointment of Michael Evans for president underlines the company's commitment to globalize our business. Our company considers the business growth outside China its top priority and intends to significantly increase trade between China and key markets around the world". Evans has already worked in Alibaba as an independent board member since September 2014. At Goldman Sachs, he served as a Vice Chairman of the Board, Head of Department for the development in fast-growing markets, the chairman of the Asian division of Goldman Sachs. Prior to his career of the investment banker, Michael Evans managed to become an Olympic champion: at the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984, as part of Team Canada Rowing, Michael Evans took the gold in the eights competition.

The appointment of the Goldman Sachs’ former top manager fit into the plan of Alibaba founder Jack Ma to update and reform the company, which after a triumphant IPO in September of last year fell by 16%. Experts point out that as the company is going out from China into the global market, it has to solve complex problems, including those related to the fight against the sale of counterfeit goods on its website, as well as work in developed country markets with high competition, for example in the United States. In late June, it was reported that the Chinese Internet giant is selling its online store 11 Main in the US to US counterpart OpenSky. In return, Alibaba will receive 37.6% of the shares of OpenSky.