Yahoo has strengthened its ties to Alibaba after it was announced [PDF] that Jacqueline D. Reses, its executive in charge of HR and recruitment, joined the board of the Chinese e-commerce giant, which Yahoo owns 23 percent of.
In May, Yahoo finally announced a deal worth $7.1 billion to sell a significant part of its stake in Alibaba back to the Chinese company, but it retains a large holding in the company. With that in mind, the appointment of Reses demonstrates its continued commitment in spite of refinancing agreement
Reses is one of four members of the board, which includes Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma, SoftBank CEO and founder Masayoshi Son and Alibaba CFO Joe Tsai are the other two.
“Today’s announcement underscores Alibaba’s strong relationship with Yahoo!,” read a statement from Ma. “We are pleased to welcome such an experienced and respected executive like Jackie, who brings a wealth of strategic insight and operating experience to the Alibaba board.”
Reses is executive vice president of people and development at Yahoo, and she has a background investment having formerly been with Apax Partners and Goldman Sachs. She has also spent time as a CEO when she headed up real estate investment company iBuilding.
Yahoo’s reiteration of its commitment to Alibaba comes after the company racked up a series of impressive landmarks. This week it passed 1 trillion RMB ($157 billion) in gross sales, considerably more than U.S e-commerce giants Amazon and eBay combined. However, its earlier performance in China’s version of ‘Cyber Monday’ has raised headlines and visibility worldwide.
The shopping bonanza day, held November 11, saw Alibaba bring in a record $3.1b in sales, up 367 percent on the year previous. That’s considerably higher than the US, where retailers are said to have seen revenue jump 30 percent. comScore estimates that ‘Black Friday’ sales passed 1 billion for the first time – illustrating the size of China’s market and the dominance that Alibaba enjoys.
It seems that, unlike her predecessors, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer is very much keen to maintain Yahoo’s connection with Alibaba rather than seek short-term financial gain by cashing in entirely.
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