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Drivers of food delivery service Meituan Dianping are seen in Shanghai. Photo: Reuters

Meituan Dianping co-founder Wang Huiwen to retire amid management revamp

  • Beijing-based Meituan will roll out a talent pipeline development programme to train new leaders

One of the co-founders of Meituan Dianping, Wang Huiwen, is expected to retire this year, as China’s largest on-demand services provider conducts a revamp of its senior management.

Wang, who has served as senior vice-president at Meituan since 2010, will step away from his daily duties by December, but will remain as a board member and serve as a consultant, according to a company statement on Monday.

“Carrying on our mission of ‘eat better and live better’ over the coming decade would require generations of new growing leaders,” said Wang Xing, Meituan’s co-founder and chief executive, in an internal letter, the transcript of which was verified by the company.

Beijing-based Meituan also announced it will roll out a talent pipeline development programme to improve the process for reviewing staff, increase rotation opportunities and train successors.

Meituan Dianping CEO’s net worth poised to top US$7 billion as shares surge

Wang, 41, has been responsible for Meituan’s on-demand delivery business and new initiatives. He was a graduate of Tsinghua University, where he was a roommate of Meituan chief Wang.

In 2005, the two roommates and Lai Binqiang co-founded social networking service Xiaonei. They sold their company in October 2006 to China InterActive Corp, which was later renamed as Renren.

Another senior Meituan executive, Elaine Liu, will also step away from her daily duties as senior vice-president to serve as a senior consultant, according to the company. It said new members to Meituan’s senior management team include Guo Qing, responsible for hotel and resort services, and Li Shubin, co-founder of footwear e-commerce start-up OKBuy, as the person in charge of Meituan app, design and marketing.

The reshuffle at Meituan follows senior management changes at other major internet companies, including Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding, which owns the South China Morning Post.

Last year, Baidu’s president of new business, Zhang Yaqin, opted for early retirement at the age of 53. In September, Jack Ma, 55, formally stepped down as Alibaba’s executive chairman, passing the reins to chief executive Daniel Zhang Yong.
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