Oct 09, 2016 01:11 PM

Alibaba's Ant Financial Appoints New CEO

(Beijing) — Ant Financial Service Group, the financial arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba, has appointed a veteran fundraiser to the top job ahead of Ant Financial's plans to go public in 2017.

In an e-mail to employees on Saturday, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma said Ant Financial President Eric Jing will replace Peng Lei as the company's CEO. Peng — an Alibaba co-founder who has headed Ant Financial since its inception in 2014 — will retain her role as chairman.

"Jing, a finance veteran, will be responsible for day-to-day management, and Peng will focus on setting long-term strategy," said a source at Ant Financial who declined to be named.

The latest management change, which becomes effective on Oct. 16, comes as Ant Financial is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering in 2017. The company has not announced a timeline or location for a listing. In April, Ant Financial raised $4.5 billion, giving it a $60 billion valuation.

Ant Financial operates Alipay, China's largest online payment service with over 450 million registered users. It also offers a wide range of financial services, including wealth management, credit scores and peer-to-peer lending.

Jing joined Alibaba in 2007 and was appointed Alipay's chief financial officer in 2009. He became chief operating officer of Ant Financial in 2014 and was promoted to president in June 2015.

Peng has headed Alipay since 2010. She was named CEO and chairman of Ant Financial after Alibaba spun off its financial arm before its $25 billion New York listing in 2014.

Contact reporter Han Wei (; editor Poornima Weerasekara (

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