Lazada CEO steps down after nine months on job

In a move the e-commerce operator has described as a "leadership succession plan", Lucy Peng has been replaced by company veteran Pierre Poignant just months after she was appointed CEO in March 2018.

Lazada Group has appointed a new chief just months after Lucy Peng was unveiled as its CEO in March 2018.

Company veteran Pierre Poignant has assumed the chief executive role with immediate effect, said the e-commerce operator in a statement Thursday.

It gave no reason for the change in reins, except to say that the move was "part of succession planning".

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Poignant in August 2018 was appointed the group's executive president, while Peng took over the CEO position in March this year, adding on to her previous role as Lazada's executive chairman.

Alongside the new investment, Alibaba also revealed that Lazada's founder and CEO would be stepping aside and assuming a new role as senior advisor to Alibaba. Current Lazada chairman and one of Alibaba's founding employees, Lucy Peng, would take over as CEO of Lazada.

Asked why she had been replaced just nine months after her appointment, a Lazada spokesperson told ZDNet in an email that the move was "a leadership succession plan", rather than a replacement, and that Peng would remain as executive chairperson and continue to be based in Singapore.

Poignant joined Lazada in August 2012 as its COO, building up the company's logistics footprint and leading its customer service, supply chain, and content production.

As its new CEO, he is responsible for driving the e-commerce player's development into new growth markets and managing its operations in the region, including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Peng said: "[Poignant] and the team of other co-founders had the vision to build our logistics network from the ground up back in the days when no one in Southeast Asia believed in e-commerce."

On his part, the new CEO said Lazada had benefitted from the Alibaba ecosystem, tapping its technology and logistics resources.

The Chinese e-commerce giant in April 2016 acquired a controlling stake in Lazada and had continued to invest heavily in the Southeast Asian business, pumping in more than US$4 billion.