WPP's global client and commerce lead Prasanna Kumar hops over to Alibaba

Prasanna Kumar, WPP's global MD, client team and global commerce practice lead for P&G, has joined Alibaba Group as global media director based in London, according to his LinkedIn. Kumar (pictured) said in a LinkedIn post that having spent 15 years with WPP, with more than 10 years in MediaCom across Singapore, India, China and the UK, the network agency "no doubt has been one of the best places to work, grow and continue to learn everyday". He added that WPP is a "house for amazing talent, mentorship culture, wide-ranging business portfolios" and has a supportive ecosystem with evolving capabilities.

"Kudos to my rockstar teams, my bosses and mentors, my client partners and the larger ecosystem who have supported me to make my WPP journey so fruitful globally," he added. Kumar said he is "excited and humbled" to begin his new adventure with Alibaba and looks forward to create many more unforgettable memories.

Kumar first took on a bigger role in WPP in 2016 when he was appointed business leader, regional client team and global commerce practice lead. Prior to that, he was with MediaCom for more than 11 years, last leading the Asia team for P&G. He also worked in China for more than five years as GM for Greater China and director, strategy and communication planning for P&G in Greater China, his LinkedIn said. Kumar first joined MediaCom's P&G team in India as business group head for strategic planning in 2005. Prior to MediaCom, Kumar was with Zenith for close to two years, during which he managed Garnier and L'Oréal. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Alibaba, WPP and Kumar for comment.

During the recent 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, Alibaba Group generated US$74.1 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) from 1 to 11 November, an increase of 26% compared to the same time frame in 2019. Over 470 brands achieved more than RMB100 million in GMV and 250,000 brands participated in the festival this year. Of that number, 31,000 are overseas brands, and within these overseas brands, 2,600 participated in 11.11 for the first time. The US emerged as the top country selling to China by GMV. Other top-selling countries to China, in alphabetical order, include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and UK.

President of Taobao and Tmall, Jiang Fan said over  the past 12 years, innovation has been at the heart of 11.11. "11.11 is defined by our consumers, merchants and our partners across the ecosystem, and also a beneficiary of all the support from society. We will continue to focus on developing our digital infrastructure in the service of empowering merchants of all sizes to find a path to success in the digital economy," he added.

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