Alibaba’s key lieutenant and global MD K Guru Gowrappan steps down

K Guru Gowrappan

After serving three years as global managing director of Alibaba, K Guru Gowrappan has finally made an exit from the Chinese Internet conglomerate.

Guru’s resignation has come as a surprise for the Internet industry as he was a core member who used to advice Alibaba’s executive chairman Jack Ma in his bets in India. Meanwhile, the company has confirmed his departure without stating any reason for his exit.

Being a global managing director at Alibaba, Gowrappan was focusing on international expansion for key consumers and enterprise products across commerce, media, entertainment, payments amongst others.

Alibaba has emerged as one of the most prolific investment firms in the country. Recently, the Jack Ma led company poured $300 million round in online grocery player Bigbasket. Last month, it had pumped $200 million round in food tech major Zomato. Importantly, it owns the largest chunk of the Noida-based payment major Paytm.

The Chinese group is reportedly eyeing to deploy around $8 billion over the next four years in areas including, payment, enterprise, and entertainment (OTT), among others. It’s also said to spend about $2 billion in e-commerce and logistics and buy a controlling stake in  Paytm’s e-commerce arm Paytm Mall.

Having more than 15 years of experience in the Internet industry, Guru’s focus areas were mostly China, SoutheastAsia, and India.

In 2016, Guru joined as an additional director of Paytm’s board of directors to guide product and tech verticals and ensuring strong and scalable growth for the Vijay Shekhar Sharma-founded company.

Prior to Alibaba, K Guru Gowrappan had also served as a chief operating officer of Quixey, a mobile search engine where he led Product, business, and marketing functions and played a pivotal role in company’s global and financial strategy.

Guru, who co-founded two Indian startups, has been an active angel investor and adviser to several startups from Silicone Valley. He also held leadership roles in companies including Zynga, Yahoo and BankBazaar among others.

The development was first reported by ET.

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