Pinduoduo founder Colin Huang steps down as chairman

Colin Huang, chief executive officer and founder of Pinduoduo, speaks during the company’s listing ceremony at Shanghai Tower on July 26, 2018 in Shanghai, China.

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Colin Huang, the founder of fast-growing Chinese e-commerce giant Pinduoduo, has resigned as chairman.

In a shock move, the company announced on Wednesday that Huang stepped down from the board of directors to explore future growth ideas.

Pinduoduo listed on the technology-focused Nasdaq stock exchange in New York in July 2018, just three years after it was founded. At the time of the initial public offering, its shares were priced at $24.6. Today they’re trading at $160.9 and the company is valued at $197 billion.

The Shanghai company’s share price was down 7.6% in pre-market trading on Wednesday off the back of the news.

In a letter to shareholders, Huang said that Pinduoduo has “become a youth entering adolescence.”

“Observing its rapid transformation and growth, I’m both joyful and anxious. Pinduoduo will have its own growth journey regardless of whether I am nervous, excited, or frightened as its guardian,” he wrote. “I hope that my stepping down as chairman of the board will aid this young person into independent adulthood.”

Pinduoduo said Huang will “pursue research in the food and life sciences, disciplines where breakthroughs could drive the future of China’s largest agriculture platform.”

Chen Lei, who replaced Huang as Pinduoduo’s CEO last July, will now also serve as the company’s chairman.

Huang has entrusted the board to exercise his voting rights as a shareholder and pledged not to sell his shares for three years. Pinduoduo said the 1:10 voting rights attached to Huang’s shares have been removed.

Rival to Alibaba and JD

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