Struggling Tech Giant LeEco Loses Global Corporate Finance HeadBy
Winston Cheng steps down to join JD.com executive team
LeEco has suffered from executive departures and a cash crunch
LeEco Inc.’s global head of corporate finance is leaving, according to a person familiar with the matter, the latest sign of retrenchment by the Chinese technology giant.
Winston Cheng, who joined LeEco in 2015, will be president of international at Chinese e-commerce company JD.com Inc., leading new business initiatives including investments and mergers and acquisitions, the person said. LeEco declined to comment. JD.com didn’t respond to a request for comment on Friday.
Cheng previously held managing director roles at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Merrill Lynch was a lead underwriter for JD.com when the company went public in 2014, a deal Cheng worked on. He also advised JD.com that same year when Tencent Holdings Ltd. bought a 15 percent stake. JD.com has become Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s biggest competitor in China’s online shopping sector.
LeEco’s ambitious international expansion plans have suffered from a cash squeeze and other roadblocks. Cheng played a key role in LeEco’s proposed acquisition of TV maker Vizio Inc. for $2 billion, a deal that the company said fell apart because of regulatory hurdles. LeEco’s U.S. plans have also been set back by lackluster sales, job cuts, and delayed payroll to U.S. employees.
Controlled by billionaire Jia Yueting, LeEco lured executives from global technology giants and banks to run its operations. In the past year, there have been several high-profile executive departures. Todd Pendleton, a marketing executive, and Shawn Williams, a senior vice president from Samsung Electronics Co., left LeEco after about a year, according to several people familiar with the matter and Williams’ LinkedIn profile.
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