Jingdong's "gate of life": Liu Qiangdong's super long standby risk


Zhao Chenting

[The company, which was founded in 1998, has had an overly striking personal label of Liu Qiangdong for the past 20 years. ]

Liu Qiangdong has been a hot topic of news these years.

In January, Liu Qiangdong, who debuted in Davos, spoke for the first time with David Rubinstein, the founder of Carlyle Group, who holds the title of "king of PE investment," and publicly declared that he should not retire until he was 65.

But the market's biggest concern about Mr. Liu's management of Jingdong is also his own ultra-long standby plan.

It has been 20 years since the founding of Jingdong in 1998. If Liu Qiangdong retires at the age of 65, he can lead Jingdong for more than 20 years. At that time, Liu Qiangdong had been in charge of Jingdong for more than 40 years.

Liu Qiangdong of iron

When the future of the business is highly tied to the founder himself, it is true that a word of nine can be agreed to the outside world, dare to dare to dare to bring about super-high execution, but what if the founder has to leave in an accident? Especially if the founder himself is a highly exposed public figure.

Because of some rumors from Liu Qiangdong, Jingdong's share price once dropped more than 17% from $31.3 to $25.9.

Influenced by the news of Ma Yun's retirement, Ali's share price fell more than 2% before the day, fell more than 4% during the session, and finally closed down about 3.7%. Ali's share price fell 2.32% in the day after Sept. 7, when the New York Times said Mr. Ma would retire on Monday.

But the capital that Ma Yun dares to retire is Ali's talent inheritance plan. In an open letter announcing his imminent retirement, he said Zhang Yong, the current CEO of Alibaba Group, would take over as chairman of the board. And he will fully cooperate with Zhang Yong from now on to prepare for the organizational transition.

Today's Jingdong, to many people's impression is "iron Liu Qiangdong + water professional managers".

The following question is, if Liu Qiangdong could not sit down in this once iron-beaten camp for some reason one day, who could take the scepter in Liu Qiangdong's hand at that time?

Actually, it's a bit tough for an Internet boss to talk about his successor if he's young and energetic enough to wear a tight size zero suit and drink a lot of red wine and laugh. But the problem with Jingdong is that Liu Qiangdong has given up many rights, but it always seems to be unable to put it down.

As a founder, Liu Qiangdong has always been a workaholic image. In a previous interview with CNBC in the United States, Liu Qiangdong said he enjoyed working hard and spent an average of 16 hours a day at work, and it would be painful for him to lie on the beach and bask in the sun.

It can be said that Liu Qiangdong is largely equated with the Jingdong he founded. The company, founded in 1998, has had an overly striking personal label of Liu Qiangdong for the past 20 years. The most direct reason is that although Tencent is now a major shareholder in Jingdong after many times of financing dilution, Liu Qiangdong, who holds nearly 80% of the vote in Jingdong, has been holding the steering wheel of the giant ship.

At least, from the outside world, Jingdong does not have number two.

Since the founding of Jingdong, the number of grass-roots vice-presidents is very few, most of them are airborne, and these people come in and take turns frequently.

Today, Jingdong's top executives are most exposed by Jingdong group CMO Xu Lei.

From his personal experience, Xu Lei has been a marketing consultant in Jingdong since May 2007. He joined Jingdong formally in January 2009. He has been the head of marketing department, the head of wireless business department and the head of marketing platform system in Jingdong Mall.

Xu Lei fled from Jingdong in 2011 and worked as a CMO for Youshou, a B2C website run by Baili International Holdings, a shoe giant, until early 2013. In 2016, Xu Lei served as senior vice president of Jingdong group and was promoted to Jingdong group CMO in April 2017.

In July this year, Xu Lei also had a new identity: the first Jingdong mall was CEO.

Apart from Xu Lei, who often stands up to speak because of the nature of his work, Hu Shengli, president of Fashion Life Group, is not a low number of appearances.

Only Hu successfully joined Jingdong in 2014, but he has changed many areas of responsibility.

At first Hu Shengli was the head of the communications business department of the 3C division of Jingdong. He was famous for creating the 3C "Iron Army" of Jingdong with one hand. At the end of 2015, he took over Wang Xiao Song as president of 3C division, while Wang Xiaosong turned to Jingdong fresh business.

3C Business Department has always been the head of the business in Jingdong Mall, but this business suddenly announced at the end of 2017 renamed "Jingdong 3C Civil and Tourism Business Department", or responsible for Hu Shengli, the goal is to beyond the 3C, fully develop the two categories of books, entertainment and life travel.

In just two or three months, after a major restructuring in January this year, 3C veteran Hu Shengli was transferred to the post of president of the Fashion Life Business Group composed of Home Life Business, Fashion Business, TOPLIFE, and Second-hand Business.

Running water executives

Liu Qiangdong himself knows clearly that after the gradual enlargement of Jingdong, compared with personal heroism, now must rely on the strength of the organization, the system of strict management of Jingdong.

Around 2010, Liu Qiangdong said to the outside world, "If you have managed for ten years, can not let go, this is my serious failure."

Subsequently, Liu Qiangdong gradually introduced COO Shen Haoyu, CMO LAN ye, CHO Long Yu and other CXO. With CXO in place one by one, he gradually gave executives full financial and personnel power, and "only see the results, regardless of the process," almost no specific business.

However, few of these professional managers can stay long.

In 2014, Jingdong underwent a major restructuring. The name of the company was renamed Jingdong Group from Jingdong Mall. The overall business was also divided into four organizations: Jingdong Mall Group, Financial Group, Paipai Net and Overseas Business Department.

Liu Qiangdong's position has also been changed from the former Jingdong mall CEO to the chairman and CEO of Jingdong group. The vacant CEO position of Jingdong Mall was left to Shen Haoyu, who joined Jingdong in 2011 after serving as chief operating officer (COO).

Subsequently, the listing of Jingdong, Liu Qiangdong and Shen Haoyu seem to have agreed on a division of labor, Liu Qiangdong more look at the overall layout of Jingdong Group, and Shen Haoyu responsible for the Jingdong retail business that is Jingdong Mall. Among the other subdivisions of Jingdong Group, Chen Shengqiang is the head of Jingdong Financial Business, and Xu Xinquan, the former president of Huawei Terminal Electronic Commerce Department, is the head of Jingdong Overseas Business Department. He is in charge of Jingdong Open Platform Business Department and the independent development of the business.

But in this group of adjustments, the last remaining executives are Chen Shengqiang, who is in charge of financial business.

At the end of 2015, Jingdong announced that it would close down its previous shooting by Ying Yingchun, and Xu Xinquan left Le TV in April 2016, and the overseas division of Jingdong also made major adjustments.

4 months later, in August 2016, Jingdong announced that Shen Haoyu no longer acted as a Jingdong mall CEO. Jingdong said that due to family reasons, Shen Haoyu will move to the United States, and has appointed him as president of Jingdong Group's international business. Since then, there has been hardly any news about Shen Haoyu from the Jingdong official mouth.

The location of Jingdong mall CEO was vacant at that time.

Until July this year, Jingdong Mall announced the implementation of rotation CEO system, by Xu Lei concurrently assumed the first rotation CEO of Jingdong Mall, reporting to Liu Qiangdong, fully responsible for the daily work of the mall. Since the departure of Shen Hao Yu, the Jingdong mall CEO, which has been vacant for two years, has finally been filled.

Prior to that, Jingdong group's CMO position was also vacant for nearly two years. However, compared to Jingdong mall CEO and Jingdong group CMO, Jingdong CTO has been vacant for a longer time.

In February 2012, Jingdong announced its first CTO position, and Wang Yaqing became the first CTO of Jingdong mall. But less than a year after joining Jingdong, in December 2012, Jingdong announced that Wang Yaqing had officially resigned for family reasons.

Then, Jingdong CTO's position is unmanned.

In practical business, Li University joined Jingdong as a technical director to take over Wang Yaqing's affairs in 2008, but Li University was only senior vice president of Jingdong Group at that time.

In April 2015, Zhang Chen, former vice president of Yahoo, founder and President of Yahoo's Beijing Global Research and Development Center, took over the post of former Li University. Most of the year later, Zhang Chen took office as CTO.

In addition to the above-mentioned executives to change horses and lanterns, these years from the core positions of the Jingdong well-known senior executives also leave Zhao Guoqing, Yan Xiaobo, Xiong Qingyun, Li Yonghe, Jiangchuan, Du Shuang and so on.

Interestingly, from 2010 to 2012, Liu Qiangdong brought in many executives from the outside, some of whom he drew from the Central European Business School classmates, some of whom were recommended by Jingdong investors.

Liu Qiangdong finally decided to leave the company in 2013 to start the "charging" trip. From May to June 2013, I spent most of my time studying abroad. I didn't even see such an important thing as the promotion of the 10th anniversary of June 18th in Jingdong. After appearing briefly at the Beijing East Open Platform Partners Conference in July 2013, he went back to the United States in August 2013 to study at Columbia University for about four months without ever returning home.

However, another aspect of the "travel to Columbia" was also interpreted by the market as Liu Qiangdong's attempt to balance the relationship between senior executives of various factions. It's better to leave the company for a while and wait for these CXOs, SVPs and VPs to reach a certain balance with each other before he returns smoothly.

In 2014, Liu Qiangdong, who returned from Charging, quickly completed several major events. The company restructured its organization, acquired Tencent's shares and acquired Tencent E-commerce. Finally, he successfully sent Jingdong to the capital market.

To the outside world, Liu Qiangdong gives us the image of a hegemonic president in control of everything, but what the capital market needs today is the imagination of Jingdong outside of Liu Qiangdong.

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