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Pinduoduo Founder Colin Huang Exits CEO Post, Cuts His Stake


Jul. 2 2020, Published 1:44 p.m. ET

Pinduoduo (NASDAQ:PDD) is a upstart Chinese e-commerce company that’s giving market leaders Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) and JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) a run for their money. The company has been setting up a new leadership team to drive its next chapter of growth. As part of the new team setup, Pinduoduo’s founder, Colin Huang, has stepped down as the CEO. However, he will continue to serve as Pinduoduo’s chairman of the board. He will focus on Pinduoduo’s long-term strategy.

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Pinduoduo has picked Chen Lei, its current chief technology officer, to replace Huang as the CEO. Notably, tapping the technology chief for the top executive spot shows Pinduoduo’s emphasis on tech innovation to drive its growth. Chen Lei is one of Pindouduo’s founding executives alongside Colin Huang. He took the chief technology officer role in 2016.

As part of the executive changes, Pinduoduo also appointed Zhu Jianchong as its top lawyer and Ma Jing as the vice president in charge of finance.

Since Pinduoduo was founded in 2015, it has become one of China’s prominent e-commerce companies. The company continues to grow its sales rapidly and investors like its stock.

Colin Huang cuts stake in Pinduoduo stock

In addition to stepping down from the CEO post, Colin Huang also cut his stake in Pinduoduo stock to 29.4% from 43.3%. Notably, his stake in the stock declined due to share transfers to charities and other entitled entities—not due to share sales.

Huang’s net worth has soared alongside Pinduoduo stock. So far, the stock has gained 126% this year. In comparison, JD stock has gained 70%, while Alibaba stock has gained less than 2.0% in 2020. According to the Bloomberg billionaire index, Huang has added $24.7 billion to his wealth this year. As a result, his net worth was $44.3 billion as of July 1. Huang is China’s third-richest man behind Tencent CEO Pony Ma and Alibaba founder Jack Ma.

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Colin Huang, along with other tech executives, has seen a huge boost in his wealth this year. The other tech billionaires counting big gains this year include Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Bezos’s net worth has risen by $56.7 billion, while Musk has added $25.8 billion to his net worth in 2020.

Huang is still the controlling shareholder

Despite stepping back from the CEO role and slashing his shares, Colin Huang is still Pinduoduo’s controlling shareholder. He owns 80.7% of the voting shares in Pinduoduo.


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