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Amsterdam, May 11 2016 – Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA) today announced the appointment of Roland Palmer as managing director of Alibaba Group Netherlands and member of the Alibaba Group EU leadership team, effective immediately.
This senior management appointment and establishment of an Amsterdam, Netherlands office rounds out Alibaba Group's expansion in the European market and provides a local contact for customers and partners in the Benelux region. The company's European presence is a critical part of the company's globalization strategy to serve as a "gateway to China" for international brands and businesses of all sizes. As a part of this international expansion and in order to better serve existing and future partners in Europe, the company has already opened country offices in Milan, Italy, Munich, Germany and Paris, France as well as expanding its presence in the UK.
"The Netherlands is a nation that has been built on successful international trade and export, both characteristics that fit well with our European business objectives," said Michael Evans, president of Alibaba Group. "In Europe, our top priority is to engage with existing local partners and help European brands, retailers, small businesses and government partners understand the opportunities China offers and how Alibaba can help them access this market. Roland has the experience and in-depth knowledge to successfully build teams and business capabilities for major international companies and we are fortunate to have him as part of our EU leadership team."
The Netherlands office will assist current partners, local brands, retailers and government partners across Benelux who want to access the large and growing Chinese consumer base looking for high-quality international products and services. A "one-stop shop" for Benelux local business that will encompass the entire scope of Alibaba Group's ecosystem, Alibaba's Netherlands country office will help identify the most suitable local products for the Chinese market, help merchants sell on Alibaba's platforms, assist with outbound and inbound logistics, and facilitate online transactions for Chinese consumers and tourists.
Well known for their excellent food and product safety standards, the Netherlands and Belgium export products which are sought after by Chinese consumers, including all types of high quality food items, especailly in the dairy, chocolate and alcoholic beverage categories, in addition to flowers, consumer electronics, household products, baby products and children's toys.
Roland Palmer brings a wealth of experience in the global retail and omnichannel sector to this new role. Prior to joining Alibaba, he was CEO of Blokker Holding where he played a pivotal role in renovating store concepts and in transforming a traditional offline retail company into an omnichannel group. He previously worked as a strategy consultant for global managing consulting firm Bain & Company, helping Fortune 500 companies optimise their international operations. Roland has an MBA from IMD in Switzerland as well as a proven track record as a senior manager within top FMCG companies such as Coca Cola Netherlands and Unilever Foods UK.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company is the largest online and mobile commerce company in the world in terms of gross merchandise volume. Founded in 1999, the company provides the fundamental technology infrastructure and marketing reach to help businesses leverage the power of the Internet to establish an online presence and conduct commerce with hundreds of millions of consumers and other businesses.
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