Caixin
May 20, 2020 06:47 AM
BUSINESS & TECH

Exclusive: Ping An Good Doctor Replaces Four More Top Executives

Visits to Ping An Good Doctor’s app reached 1.11 billion in February at the peak of Covid-19 outbreak.
Visits to Ping An Good Doctor’s app reached 1.11 billion in February at the peak of Covid-19 outbreak.

Ping An Insurance continued the housecleaning at the top of its Ping An Good Doctor online health services provider, replacing four more senior managers after the removal last week of Wang Tao, the unit’s chairman, executive director and CEO. The moves may presage a combination of two health-care units, company sources said.

The parent company named new executives to succeed Chief Operating Officer Bai Xue; Chief Technology Officer Wang Qi; Chief Product Officer Wu Zongxun; and Company Secretary Lin Yuan, according to sources at the company. The new executives weren’t identified.

The removals took place abruptly without any arranged transition, and the company’s business structure is likely to change significantly, according to a middle manager at Ping An Good Doctor.

Hong Kong-listed Ping An Good Doctor said the management changes will not affect normal operations. The stock price nearly doubled this year as the Covid-19 pandemic boosted the company’s business. The shares lost about 10% on news of the management shakeup.

Ping An Good Doctor provides real-time online medical services, connecting patients with doctors for consultations and diagnoses and enabling them to make outpatient appointments or get rehabilitation advice. It also sells medications and medical equipment online. The number of visits to Good Doctor’s app reached 1.11 billion in February as the coronavirus outbreak peaked in China, and new registered users increased 10-fold, the company said.

Last Friday the parent company replaced Wang Tao with Fang Weihao, 47. Fang is chairman and CEO of Ping An’s finance leasing unit and vice chairman of the property and casualty insurance unit. He is also co-chairman and CEO of Ping An Medical and Healthcare Management Co., known as Ping An HealthKonnect, which provides medical data and resource management services to health-care providers.

Fang’s appointment may pave the way for a combination of the two health-care units, according to a person close to Ping An Insurance. Ping An Medical and Healthcare started a round of layoffs late last year, followed by similar cuts at Ping An Good Doctor earlier this year, the person said.

Ping An Insurance didn’t disclose its plans for the two health-care units. Last week when Wang Tao was removed, the company said his departure was for personal reasons.

Wang Tao and most of the Ping An Good Doctor top managers who were replaced were former Alibaba executives. In the early days at Alibaba, Wang Tao was known as one of Jack Ma’s “Five Tiger Generals.” He joined Ping An Insurance in 2013 and started Ping An Good Doctor the next year. He brought in Wu, a former general manager of Alibaba’s Taobao platform; Wang Qi, a former Alibaba vice president of technology; and Bai, the former human resources chief at Alibaba.

Ping An Medical and Healthcare completed a first financing round of $1.15 billion in 2018, valuing the company at $8.8 billion. It has been rumored that the company was seeking a $2 billion initial public offering in Hong Kong.

Ping An Good Doctor, formally known as Ping An Healthcare and Technology, has yet to turn a profit despite rapid revenue growth. It reported a net loss of 747 million yuan ($105 million) in 2019, narrower from a net loss of 913 million yuan in 2018.

With the new management, Ping An Good Doctor’s turnover may fluctuate in the short term, but long-term synergy with the parent company and other health units will be further strengthened, Citigroup said Monday in a research report.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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