Chinese Internet firm Alibaba Group has named James R. Wilkerson, former chief of staff to ex-U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, to run its international corporate affairs office, signaling its intention to grow into major global operation after its planned U.S. initial public offering.
“As Alibaba extends our platform for entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world, it is important that we have the right people in place who have a track record of building bridges across geographic boundaries,” Jack Ma, Alibaba’s cofounder and executive chairman, said in a statement.
Wilkinson has also served as a senior adviser to former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice. He joined PepsiCo in 2012, from the Brunswick Group, a communications firm. His experience working for the U.S. government on the international stage could be key to Alibaba as it expands its international profile.
“Jim is a proven team builder and leader in global corporate affairs with a strong track record of integrity, passion and commitment that reflect the Alibaba values,” Joseph Tsai, Alibaba’s vice chairman, said, according to the New York Times.
Alibaba said last week that it plans to raise $1 billion initially, and then $15 billion to $20 billion, which could surpass Facebook’s $16 billion initial public offering in 2012.