Alibaba Group appoints new UK general manager

Alibaba Group has appointed Roland Palmer as general manager for the UK, Netherlands and Nordics.

Palmer, who joined the Chinese e-commerce giant in 2016 as managing director for the Netherlands and Belgium, is taking over the role from David Lloyd who has recently left the company.

In 2018, Palmer’s role expanded when he was appointed to the position of head of Europe for Alipay, part of Ant Group.

Palmer holds an MBA from the IMD Business School in Switzerland. He previously worked as a strategy consultant for global managing consulting firm Bain & Company.

Prior to that, he held various senior management roles within leading FMCG companies including Coca Cola and Unilever. Roland was also CEO of Blokker Holding, where he played a pivotal role in transforming a traditional offline retail company into an omnichannel group.

Alibaba’s European presence has long been a central part of the company’s globalisation strategy.

Announcing the appointment, the company said that it would continue to serve as a gateway to China for international brands and retailers of all sizes, enabling them to access this important growth market.

Alibaba supports European brands and retailers by facilitating exports through platforms such as Tmall, Tmall Global, AliExpress, and Lazada and offers businesses services and infrastructure capabilities.

Commenting on his appointment, Palmer said: “I am incredibly excited to take up this new role within Alibaba Group. Our mission remains to make it easy to do business anywhere.

"I look forward to working with all of our current and future customers and partners across the region. Together with my colleagues from all of our Alibaba teams, we will continue to help more brands seize the opportunity to grow their business in China and across the globe.”

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