New CEO for Alibaba’s Ant Financial

12 Oct 2016

Ant Financial, the Chinese online financial services giant that is an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding, and is controlled by billionaire Jack Ma Yun, has a new chief executive, Bloomberg reported.

Ma’s choice to lead the company is Eric Jing Xiandong (44), a veteran of corporate finance with extensive experience working in multinational companies. He will steer Ant’s next phase of growth and orchestrate an initial public offering, expected next year.

Eric Jing Xiandong, new CEO of Ant Financial (photo belongs to China Money Network)

Eric Jing Xiandong, new CEO of Ant Financial (photo belongs to China Money Network)

Jing takes the helm from Lucy Peng Lei, a mainstay on Forbes’ lists of the world’s most powerful women, who will retain the position of executive chair.

The switch comes as Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group Co. is said to be preparing to list in Hong Kong in 2017, in what may be one of the city’s largest IPOs since 2010. That would cap a progression in which Ant has evolved from online payments service Alipay into a Chinese internet finance empire, which runs the country’s largest money market fund and handles Alibaba’s e-commerce transactions.

Jing, recently named an Alibaba board member, majored in economics and was formerly chief financial officer of Guangzhou Pepsi Cola Beverage. He joined Alibaba in 2007 in the corporate finance division. He moved to Alipay in 2009 and drove key Ant Financial products, including Yu’E Bao, China’s largest money market fund. He also oversaw the development of the company’s micro-loans and credit-rating businesses.

Jing received a degree in economics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1994. He also has an MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. A native of eastern Anhui Province, Jing is married with two children, according to the company.

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Don Gasper