Lazada CEO to cede role to company veteran

Lazada Group chief executive officer Lucy Peng will step down and cede her role to Mr Pierre Poignant, a six-year veteran of the leading South-east Asian e-commerce operator.

Ms Peng, a co-founder of Lazada's controlling shareholder, Alibaba Group, will remain as executive chairman, the Singapore-based firm said in a statement yesterday.

Mr Poignant joined Rocket Internet-incubated Lazada in 2012. He will assume the CEO role immediately. The appointment comes nine months after Alibaba installed Ms Peng as CEO to replace Maximilian Bittner. The Chinese e-commerce behemoth had put in another US$2 billion (S$2.7 billion) this year to deepen its bet on South-east Asia.

Mr Poignant, 39, has held several roles during his six-year stint at Lazada, including expanding logistics as chief operating officer. Lazada has 31 warehouses in six countries.

"The job is not new to me," Mr Poignant said in an interview. "We are in a very diverse region, in six countries with vastly different consumer base, vastly different landscape. The solution is different in each of these markets."

The new CEO, who was appointed to Lazada's newly created executive president post in August, brushed aside talk about internal issues that might have led to the management shuffle. "Obviously when you bring two companies with strong cultures together and draw the road map for the next three to five years, people can share their ideas and debate, which is quite natural," he said. "I'm very confident we have the right team and the right strategy for the future."

Mr Pierre Poignant's appointment comes nine months after Alibaba installed Ms Lucy Peng as CEO... Mr Poignant has held several roles during his six-year stint at Lazada, including expanding logistics as chief operating officer. Lazada has 31 warehouses in six countries.

Under Ms Peng, Alibaba and its South-east Asian subsidiary, Lazada, worked on integrating their platforms and rolled out a set of new features.

For example, Lazada customers can now snap a picture of any product they wish to buy using the app, and it will instantly show a list of similar items and their prices.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2018, with the headline 'Lazada CEO to cede role to company veteran'. Print Edition | Subscribe