Lazada Group, an Alibaba Group-backed e-commerce player in south-east Asia, announced the appointment of its new Chief Executive Officer, Pierre Poignant on Thursday.
The move was explained as a part of succession planning initiatives that the company has been implementing. Poignant will be taking over from Lucy Peng with immediate effect while Peng will continue to serve the organization as Executive Chairwoman. Peng, one of the founders of Alibaba, had taken over the role of the company’s CEO earlier in 2018 and replaced yet another founder, Max Bittner. The shift had been timed in accordance with Alibaba doubling its investment in Lazada to $4 Bn.
The company, launched 6 years back in 2012, is now operational in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam. Poignant has been instrumental in leading the growth and expansion of Lazada’s logistics footprint in the south-east Asian region. It is a competitive battlefield for many technology leaders today and is thus a region as tricky as it is important to operate effectively in.
While succession planning is crucial for any company, it is a little out of the ordinary to have two CEO changes within the span of the same year. Lazada not operates in a dynamic industry, e-commerce being one of the most fast-growing space at the moment, it also has to thrive in a region with multiple emerging markets, changing trends, continuous volatility and unpredictable pace shifts. Top-level changes might add an extra quotient of volatility and instability when it comes to the employees’ perception of the organization. Poignant is taking over a juncture where a lot has to keep moving while still falling in place.