Alibaba promotes Daniel Zhang to CEO following 45% revenue hike

Chinese e-commerce juggernaut Alibaba has promoted its chief operating officer Daniel Zhang to chief executive in the wake of its latest financial update, which saw the business record a 45 per cent rise in revenue.

The change at the top will take place on Sunday with the departure of incumbent Jonathan Lu, who will remain as vice chairman.

The promotion caps an eight year career for Zhang within Alibaba, who was elevated to his current role in September 2013. In that time Zhang has been credited with pioneering Singles Day, a gimmick which has taken China by storm to generate colossal spends of up to £6bn over a 24 hour period.

Alibaba cheered markets after it threw off concerns that it might be slowing to post a 45 per cent rise in revenues to $2.81bn over the three years to March.

Commenting on these figures Lu said: “Alibaba had a strong quarter with significant growth across our key operating metrics,” said Mr Lu said. “We grew revenue, gross merchandise volume and annual active buyers, and we expanded our unrivaled leadership position in mobile."

Alibaba has been buoyed by a doubling of mobile transactions from 27 to 51 per cent.