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Mobike co-founder and CEO Davis Wang resigns, Hu Weiwei takes the handlebars
After Xiaomi’s organizational shuffle, bike rental platform Mobike has announced some shifts in its staff too. Mobike’s founder Hu Weiwei is set to become the new CEO of the company taking the place of Davis Wang.
Wang co-founded the bike rental platform in 2015 after serving as General Manager of Uber Shanghai. In an internal letter, Wang said that he is retreating from the company to spend more time with his family. Wang will remain a personal advisor to the company. The internal memo from Mobike states:
We wish to specially thank Davis. Over the past two years, we have served more than 200 million Mobikers and entered more than 200 cities and 15 countries. This is very much a credit to his leadership. We look forward to his continual support of the development of Mobike in his new role.
The news comes not a month after China’s largest O2O platform Meituan Dianping announced its purchase of Mobike for $2.7 billion on April 4th. The acquisition was mired with rumors. News that Mobike’s management team is exiting the company soon broke out but were swiftly denied by Meituan’s CEO Wang Xing. In an internal letter, Wang Xing said that the company would continue to operate its own brand and work independently with no changes to leadership. TechNode’s Chinese sister site also learned that Mobike staff would receive a salary increase, presumably to prevent losing their personnel.
It’s no secret that Davis Wang was against Mobike’s acquisition by Meituan Dianping and it is widely believed that this is one of the reasons for his departure. According to media reports at the time, Wang wanted to keep the company independent. However, he was also aware how hard it is for a Chinese startup to avoid big players.
“Financing and acquisitions have never been the focus of my consideration,” Wang told local media at the time. “My attitude has always been to insist on the company’s independence. But in China, I am afraid you can only be independent if you have a $10 billion valuation.”
As for Meituan Dianping, the management change is just the beginning of the journey.
“I do not want the relationship between Meituan and Mobike to play out like Didi Chuxing and ofo,” Meituan’s CEO Wang Xing was quoted saying.
Another news is that Liu Yu is now the president of Mobike reporting to the CEO. Liu has previously served as a special advisor to the company and has worked as General Manager of Alibaba’s language service platform (阿里语言).
Mobike also announced setting up a new intelligent transportation laboratory. The department will be headed by Mobike’s CTO Joe Xia who will report to Wang Huiwen, Senior Vice President of Meituan-Dianping.
Updated April 29, 2018 to include more details about Davis Wang’s departure.