Alibaba.com CEO Resigns Over Fraud

Alibaba.com Ltd. said Monday that Chief Executive David Wei and Chief Operating Officer Elvis Lee are both leaving the company with immediate effect, taking responsibility for fraudulent activity on one of the company’s platforms.

The company added in a statement that an investigation found that neither the two executives nor other members of senior management were involved in the activity, though nearly 100 of the company’s 14,000 employees are suspected of abetting the fraud, some intentionally. Alibaba said it found a noticeable increase in fraud claims by buyers against certain suppliers on its business-to-business platforms starting in late 2009 and through much of 2010.

Jonathan Lu, CEO of sister site Taobao.com, China’s largest domestic e-commerce website, will now separately run Alibaba.com as well, said John Spelich, spokesman for parent company Alibaba Group. The e-commerce conglomerate, roughly 40 percent owned by Yahoo Inc., also operates online payment system Alipay.

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