This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Alibaba's Board Gets Ex-Goldman Vice Chair Evans

Stocks in this article: YHOO AMZN EBAY GS JD WB CMCM

A previous version of this story stated Alibaba's first-quarter revenue as $8.4 billion and net income of $3.7 billion. TheStreet regrets this error.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - J. Michael Evans, the former Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs (GS), has landed on Alibaba's board of directors as the Chinese e-commerce behemoth moves towards an initial public offering in the United States.

Jim Cramer: Alibaba Is An Unstoppable Freight Train

Evans, a longtime banking executive who led Goldman's equity underwriting business, was often mentioned as a possible candidate to succeed Lloyd Blankfein as CEO of the famed investment bank until his surprising retirement at the end of 2013.

Perhaps an appointment to Alibaba's board of directors gives new insight into Evans' hasty exit from Goldman. By all accounts, Alibaba's U.S. IPO is expected to be the biggest-ever stock offering, potentially going public with a valuation that compares to Amazon (AMZN), the leader in U.S. e-commerce, around $150 billion. Goldman is one of the six securities firms selected by Alibaba to underwrite its share offering. The firm was also an early investor in Alibaba.

In 1999, Goldman invested $3.3 million in Alibaba, according to media reports. However, the investment bank sold its Alibaba stake for $22 million in 2004, as the New York Times detailed earlier in June.

Evans, who acted as the Vice Chairman of Goldman's Asia operations for nearly a decade, had a history at the bank of leading investments in China's rising corporate giants such as the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Evans was asked to serve as an independent director on Alibaba's board of directors "because of his perspective as a proven leader in the international financial community and his unique knowledge and experience across Asia," the company said in an amended F-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday.

An Alibaba representative declined to elaborate when reached by telephone. Goldman Sachs spokesperson Michael Duvally didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Alibaba's Board, Financials Take Shape

Alibaba's amended F-1 added new disclosure to its board and unique partnership structure. The filing also disclosed updated financial results for Alibaba.

In the first quarter of calendar 2014, Alibaba earned Y12.031 billion in revenue and net income of just over Y5.54 billion. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at Y5.4 billion, indicating that the company continues to hold a financial profile that is unrivaled by U.S. e-commerce giants such as Amazon and eBay (EBAY).

Aside from financial results, Alibaba on Monday said its board would consist of founder Jack Ma, executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, Alibaba CEO Jonathan Zhaoxi Lu, COO Daniel Yonhg Zhang, Chee Hwa Tung, vice chairman of the Twelfth National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of the PRC, former KPMG executive Walter Teh Ming Kwauk, Michael Evans, and Yahoo! (YHOO) founder Jerry Yang.

Yang led Yahoo's early investment in Alibaba and SoftBank's Son has also been a long-time investor and partner as the company has grown to the undisputed leader in e-commerce in China. Yahoo, unlike Goldman Sachs, retained most of its stake in Alibaba and is poised to receive tens of billions of dollars as a result of the company's IPO.

There are some interesting elements to Alibaba's disclosure of its board nominees.

Alibaba's unique partnership structure, which has been approved by both the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, allows its partners to nominate a majority of candidates to the company's board of directors. However, instead of nominating a majority of partners to its board, Alibaba's partners have elected to nominate a majority of outside directors to the company's board.

Only four of Alibaba's board nominees are partners, while five are outside of the company's partnership. That indicates Alibaba's board may have more in common with U.S. peers than many may have expected. It also contrasts significantly with the dual class voting rights of other large Chinese IPO's such as (JD), Weibo (WB) and Cheetah Mobile (CMCM).

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs