Alibaba Hires Former Treasury as International Comms Head, Accelerating Expansion to Overseas Market

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Alibaba

As a part of Alibaba’s global ambition, the Chinese Internet giant today announced the appointment of Jim Wilkinson, former senior PepsiCo executive who once worked for the U.S. government, as Senior Vice President and Head of International Corporate Affairs.

Wilkinson will be based in the San Francisco Bay Area and will be charged with building and leading Alibaba Group’s international corporate affairs team.

Wilkinson is joining Alibaba at a time when the company is putting more focus on overseas market and its relation with the U.S. is more important than ever. The firm just filed for an U.S. IPO last week.

“As Alibaba extends our platform for entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world, it is important that we have the right people in place who have a track record of building bridges across geographic boundaries,” said Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group.

According to Alibaba’s prospectus, the company’s revenue from international commerce business accounts for 12% of the total in the financial year ended March 31, while the revenue from Chinese commerce represents 84.5% of the total revenue. The revenue from Chinese business soared 86.5% YOY to $4.69 billion, while the revenue from international commerce grew at a much slower speed of 10.5% YOY to $669 million during the same period.

With a dominant position in domestic e-commerce market, expansion into overseas market is a natural step for further development. After launching an U.S. office more than a decade ago, the company has acquired a raft of U.S. firms related to e-commerce business, such as sports retailer Fanatics, e-commerce company ShopRunner, luxury product e-commerce site1stdibs, etc. Alibaba also launched a new e-commerce site 11Main in the U.S. market via two of its wholly-owned subsidiaries Vendio and Auctiva earlier this year.

Bio of Jim Wilkinson

  • PepsiCo – Executive Vice President of Communications
  • Brunswick Group — Managing partner for international business and financial strategy
  • Chief of Staff for U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson
  • Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • Johns Hopkins University (Master of Arts)
  • University of Texas at Arlington (Bachelor of Business Administration, Finance)