Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said Tuesday it appointed Michael Evans, a former top Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive, as president effective immediately. He will focus on the Chinese e-commerce giant’s international expansion strategy, initially seeking to build partnerships with brands, retailers and product owners in Europe, the Americas and Asia to help them sell in China.
Alibaba is promoting cross-border e-commerce as a growth driver as the country’s online-retail market grows increasingly competitive. E-commerce companies have sought to tap into Chinese consumers’ growing appetite for imported goods, particularly in categories such as cosmetics, baby food and health supplements.
Mr. Evans, who had been an independent member on Alibaba Group’s board since the company’s initial public offering in September, will continue to serve on the board as a management member, the company said. His position is new, though the company already has a president who focuses on domestic government and public relations.
Mr. Evans will report to Daniel Zhang, Alibaba Group’s chief executive.
Though a dominant player in the Chinese e-commerce market, Alibaba has had a mixed record abroad. In June, Alibaba decided to sell its U.S. online shopping site to a U.S. rival after only a year, highlighting challenges the company faces in mature markets. In big emerging markets like Brazil and Russia, its AliExpress.com marketplace website has had more traction.