Founder of JD.com Richard Liu steps down as CEO as China’s crackdown on tech continues
JD.com’s billionaire founder Richard Liu is the latest tech executive to bite the dust as China’s crackdown on the tech sector continues. Richard Liu stepped down today as chief executive of JD.com, in the latest leadership reshuffle at China’s second-biggest e-commerce company.
In an announcement on Thursday, JD.com said that Richard Liu is stepping down as CEO. Lei Xu, JD.com’s current president, will become the CEO effective immediately, the company said. Liu, who owns a controlling stake with about 77% of voting power, will remain the company’s chairman, while Xu will join the board as an executive director.
In a statement, Liu said, “I believe that JD has built a strong footing in the industry with a sound management structure and a large number of excellent business leaders. Lei is highly regarded both inside and outside the company and has been instrumental to driving JD’s consistent stellar business performance and formulating strategic decisions. I’ll devote more of my time to JD’s long-term strategies and future drivers as we continue to work on the most challenging yet valuable things.”
“It’s an incredible honor and privilege to assume the role of CEO of JD.com and lead such talented and dedicated management and employees,” said Mr. Lei Xu. “In the past 19 years, Richard has established and upheld JD’s strategic positioning as a supply chain-based technology and service provider and the principle of ‘doing business the right way,’ setting a strong foundation for our future endeavors. I believe Richard has built the most precious assets for JD. I share his business philosophy and commitment and will continue to create value to our users, business partners, and society. Together with the leadership team, I will further build on that and drive high-quality and sustainable growth of the company going forward.”
Liu is the latest in a series of tech founders who have stepped down from their positions. As we reported last year, Colin Huang, the founder of the e-commerce company Pinduoduo, also resigned as chairman. In November, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming stepped down as chairman, and Su Hua, the co-founder of short video app Kuaishou, also resigned.
Liu founded JD.com in July 1998. Today, JD.com is China’s leading technology-driven e-commerce company. Its cutting-edge retail infrastructure enables consumers to buy whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want it. The company has opened its technology and infrastructure to partners, brands, and other sectors, as part of its Retail as a Service offering to help drive productivity and innovation across a range of industries. JD.com is the largest retailer in China and a Fortune Global 500 company.
JD.com is the world’s leading company in high tech and AI delivery through drones, autonomous technology, and robots, and possesses the largest drone delivery system, infrastructure, and capability in the world. It has recently started testing robotic delivery services and building drone delivery airports, as well as operating driverless delivery by unveiling its first autonomous truck.