As the founder of JD.com, Liu Qiangdong has always taken a leading role in managing the day-to-day operation of his company. Thanks to his efforts, his modest booth in the Zhongguancun bazaar has achieved epic growth, becoming the third-largest internet company on Earth.
Now, with his company set up for long-term success, he’s able to take a step back from the daily grind and allow the new talent to take over his role. With that move, he can better focus on promoting company growth from behind the scenes.
In the early days of operating JD.com, Liu Qiangdong handled every aspect of running the company all by himself. He sourced only the highest quality of magneto-optical goods, and then put price labels on them for his customers’ convenience. After that, he brought all the goods to market, provided excellent customer service, and gave out receipts for every order.
Before long, he was able to open over a dozen brick-and-mortar stores filled with high-quality electronics. At that stage, he had many excellent employees helping run the stores, but it all came to an end in 2003 when the SARS epidemic swept through China. At that point, he made the decision to move his company online, which accelerated its growth even more.
Upon moving to the online format, he yet again became the only person handling the operations, but that slowly changed as he achieved success in that realm. As more employees came on board, JD.com went from an electronics superstore to a one-stop shop for a variety of products. Much of the company’s success centered around their ability to offer same or next-day delivery, ensuring an excellent customer experience every time.
With just a glance at the company’s backstory, it’s clear that Liu Qiangdong can visualize the path to success and create a clear roadmap on how to achieve phenomenal growth. Unfortunately, handling the day-to-day operations gets in the way of the strategic visions, making it difficult to create a plan for the future.
So, to make room for that process, Qiangdong created a president role, so he can give the daily duties to an accomplished individual. Then, while remaining CEO and chairman, he’ll look to the future of the company while helping mentor the management team. He’ll also use his extra time to help revitalize rural areas, including his birthplace, the village of Chang’an.
To fill the role of president of JD.com, Liu Qiangdong selected the former CEO of JD Retail, Xu Lei. In addition to handling the daily operations, Lei will help develop additional business units in an effort to further accelerate company growth.
The business units in question will likely revolve around their recent expansion into the health and logistics fields. By claiming more market share there, the company can expand its reach and serve even more customers across China and beyond.
With Xu Lei becoming president, positions opened up for other talented individuals to step into a leadership role. As a reflection of the company’s commitment to smart internal hiring practices, they’re promoting from within rather than looking in the community for their key players.
As a result, the role of CEO of JD Retail will go to Xin Lijun who helped lead JD Health prior to the promotion. As for the CEO of JD Health, Jin Enlin will take the reins after proving their suitability for the position by leading the marketplace business.
As these key players step into their roles, they can count on the support and mentorship of Liu Qiangdong. He’ll share his winning approach and guide their efforts to ensure the success of his team every step of the way.
With Liu Qiangdong looking to the future of JD.com, there’s nothing stopping this brand from becoming the leading internet company in the world. The continued support of all the young talent in the company will also go a long way in keeping the business successful for decades to come.