SAN FRANCISCO: China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has hired PepsiCo EVP of communications and former top Treasury Department aide Jim Wilkinson as SVP and head of international corporate affairs.
Based in San Francisco, Wilkinson will be responsible for building the company’s international corporate affairs operations as it prepares for its IPO in the US.
Wilkinson joined Alibaba from PepsiCo, where he has held the EVP role since 2012. Previously, he was managing partner for international business and financial strategy at Brunswick Group. He served as chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson from 2006 to 2009, the period that included the global financial crisis. Wilkinson also served as a senior adviser to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, as well as deputy national security adviser, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Wilkinson will start in the role in the coming weeks, said Ashley Zandy, associate director of international corporate affairs at Alibaba.
Reporting to executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai, Wilkinson will replace VP of international corporate affairs John Spelich, who has moved into the role of VP of international e-commerce business development.
Zandy did not give additional details about Wilkinson’s role, deferring other questions to the company’s statement.
Last week, Alibaba filed registration paperwork to file an IPO in the US, though it has not yet picked a stock exchange. Recent valuations have placed Alibaba’s worth between $150 billion and $200 billion, meaning it could raise up to $15 billion by going public.
Sard Verbinnen & Co., Brunswick Group, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies are supporting Alibaba with IPO communications.
Jon Banner has succeeded Wilkinson as PepsiCo’s EVP of communications, the company said in a statement. Reporting to PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, Banner is tasked with leading the company’s global communications organization. He joined PepsiCo as SVP of global strategy and planning in August 2012.