The Woman Behind One of China’s Biggest Corporations

Ever hear of Alibaba? It’s an e-commerce brand based in China that has both business-to-business and retail capabilities. Founded in 1999, the site is now trading at $152.11 per share and is worth $384 billion overall. 

While its founder and former CEO Jack Ma often gets most of the credit for the way the company revolutionized the Chinese economy, its chief financial officer, Maggie Wu, deserves some credit. 

Maggie Wu, also known as Wei Wu, has worked at Alibaba since 2007 and was promoted to CFO in 2013. Wu oversaw the world’s largest initial public offering (IPO) when Alibaba went public in 2014. The stock was initially valued at $25 billion and trades under the ticker BABA. 

Though the company did experience a hiccup recently — the Securities and Exchange Commission began investigating its accounting practices last year — it continues to grow in popularity. 

Not only can we look to Wu as an example of an executive role model overseas, but we can also follow her progress as a woman in a male-dominated C-suite. Alibaba officials have signaled that the company’s goal is to reap half of its revenues from outside of China, which means we’ll likely hear much more from Wu soon. 

- Alicia McElhaney / She Spends Issue #12