Lazada appoints acting CEO in Malaysia, first female country head in Thailand

REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

Lazada, the Southeast Asian arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, has appointed new CEOs in Malaysia and Thailand.

“Lazada group chief strategy officer and founding member Magnus Ekbom will serve as acting CEO of Lazada Malaysia, on top of his current role,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Ekbom will be responsible for the group’s long-term development strategy as head of the flagship platform of Alibaba Group in Southeast Asia. He will also look into driving Lazada’s growth in Malaysia, the company said.

Leo Chow, who took over as Lazada Malaysia’s CEO in January 2019 from Christophe Lejeune, will be stepping down, but will remain part of the Alibaba Group.

Prior to joining Lazada, he was the Global Venture Development manager at the Berlin-based internet firm Rocket Internet SE, a trainee to the COO at Stockholm-based Modern Times Group, and a consultant at the Swedish Management Group.

In a separate statement, Lazada also announced the appointment of Jessica Liu as its new CEO in Thailand with immediate effect. Liu, who joined Lazada in 2020, is the company’s first female country CEO, and will also continue to serve in her capacity as president of Lazada Group and head of LazMall, the statement said.

“Lazada Thailand’s current CEO, Jack Zhang, will be taking on a regional role at the company,” the e-commerce firm said.

Liu is an ecommerce veteran with over 15 years of experience in the industry. Prior to Lazada, she has held leadership roles in Alibaba Group, where she was general manager of Tmall Fashion and Luxury.

In June last year, Lazada announced the appointment of Chun Li as its chief executive officer, replacing Pierre Poignant.

Reuters reported that Alibaba has had struggles in managing Lazada and sources have highlighted a long-running culture clash with the management from China and a heavy executive turnover rate in recent years.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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