Meituan Senior Vice-President and co-founder Wang Huiwen will retire from management duties at the end of 2020, the food delivery giant said in a staff letter shared with TechNode.

Why it matters: The move highlights the ongoing management adjustments among Chinese tech heavyweights towards younger leaders to keep up with the consumption patterns among youthful generations.

  • As one of Meituan’s three co-founders, Wang set up the early structure for marketing and branding strategies and was integral to the planning and launching of food delivery services in 2013. 

“Over the past few years, Wang [Huiwen] and I have talked about his retirement plan, and the company has been preparing for when the day comes. Today, I’m officially announcing his decision to you [the staff]. I understand his reasons but am also reluctant to let him go. Even more so, however, are my gratitude and blessings for him.” (our translation)

—Wang Xing, chief executive of Meituan in the internal letter

Details: Meituan CEO Wang Xing (no relation) said in a letter to staff that the company is launching a new program to foster the next generation of managers, and the shift starts from the company’s senior team referred to as the “S-Team.”

  • Wang Huiwen, a senior team member, will retire from his management duties in December but will retain his role as executive director. Meituan named Wang as a lifetime honorary consultant and he will continue his involvement in strategic planning and talent development. 
  • Vice-Presidents Guo Qing and Li Shubing will receive promotions to the senior team. Guo joined Meituan in 2014 and is responsible for hotel and ticketing services as well as short-term rentals. Li joined at the end of last year and will take charge of Meituan’s platforms division.
  • Elaine Liu, another S-Team member, will leave her position as senior vice president to take on a senior consultant role focused on human resource development.

Context: Meituan made important external hirings in December to boost future growth. Li Shubin, the former CEO of Chinese e-commerce site OkBuy, was named vice president for app Meituan. Other giants in the space are also making adjustments.

  • JD has promoted over 6,720 employees born after 1990 in its latest changes. Many will be gradually be selected for management positions, said company founder and CEO Richard Liu in an open letter released today. 
  • Tencent announced a series of upheavals to its existing employee ranking system last June to promote younger workers as it courts more youthful users. 
  • Alibaba promoted several young executives in the months leading up to Jack Ma’s retirement.

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With additional reporting from Emma Lee

Nicole Jao

Nicole Jao is a reporter based in Beijing. She’s passionate about emerging trends, news, and stories of human interest within the world of technology. Connect with her on Twitter or via email: nicole.jao.iting@gmail.com.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.

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