This article is originally published in Chinese on Momentum Works’s Wechat platform. Translated into English by Momentum Works team. 

In January this year, Lazada reshuffled its leadership, again. As part of the reshuffle, President Jessica Liu, an Alibaba veteran, replaced Jack Zhang as CEO for Thailand.

Liu was also in charge of LazMall, the part of Lazada for brands and premium sellers. You can think of it as Lazada’s version of Tmall, Alibaba’s brand marketplace in China.

A few weeks later, rumours started circulating in China that Jessica was about to leave Lazada to join ByteDance. Very quickly Alibaba PR said the rumours were groundless.

Liu even shared a WeChat post saying “Just heard that I am supposed to Douyin, how ridiculous is that. I am very good here at Lazada in Singapore, thank you for caring.”

Many friends of ours were speculating in which part of Singapore was the accompanied photo taken:

Now it seems that the rumours might not be as groundless. Yesterday (28 May) Lazada held a town hall, where the news was announced that Liu would depart fo ‘spend more time with the family’.

James Dong, CEO of Vietnam, will also assume the Thailand CEO role. He has gone a full circle: starting as CEO of Thailand, before moving to Vietnam because Max Zhang was replaced. Now Dong is back to to running Thailand.

James Chang, the hardworking executive who has been with Lazada since its founding in 2012, will take over the global strategic key accounts and retail management of LazMall. CPO Raymond Yang, another Alibaba executive, will be in charge of platform operations and marketplace of LazMall.

The survivors

Not news anymore

It does not look like a good sign when executives have to assume multiple roles. When Lazada was spending a lot of time and effort building the premium LazMall, Shopee seemed to have a very simple strategy: free shipping.

We have more analysis of the strategies of different players in our Blooming Ecommerce in Indonesia report, to be launched in early June.  We will also host an exclusive briefing session about the report – you can sign up from our Eventbrite page.

When a friend at Lazada was asked “is Shopping winning?” a few days ago, his answer was: “Is there anyone who still doesn’t know this?

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].