By John Kell and Leigh Gallagher
August 5, 2015

FORTUNE Editor Alan Murray is taking some R&R for the next two weeks. In his absence, a number of his fellow editors are filling in. Today, Leigh Gallagher, Assistant Manging Editor and host of Fortune Live, delivers the morning paper.

One of the ways to tell the technology industry keeps gaining clout is by the caliber of talent its companies are able to draw from “old” economy industries. We first saw this in the policy arena, where tech companies lured names like Obama advisor David Plouffe (Uber), former Obama press secretary Jay Carney (Amazon) and others. Now we’re seeing tech giants make big poaches from the financial sector: Google hired Morgan Stanley CFO Ruth Porat, Anthony Noto left Goldman to become CFO of Twitter, Snapchat lured banker Imran Khan from Credit Suisse to become its chief strategy officer, and late last month came news that Blackstone CFO Laurence Tosi is headed to Airbnb.

Now we learn that Alibaba Group has hired former Goldman Sachs vice chairman J. Michael Evans as its president. Evans is a 20-year partner and a former-many-things at the firm: vice chairman, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asia Pacific, and global head of growth markets; before he retired in 2013, he was seen as a candidate to succeed Lloyd Blankfein as CEO. (As a onetime oarswoman, I have to point out that Evans is also a former Olympic gold medalist rower.)

This move is further proof of the shift of the economy’s center of gravity from finance to technology. It also signals something else: a related shift toward youth. Evans, 56, will report to Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang, who is 42. At Airbnb, Tosi will report to 33-year-old cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky, who not too long ago also lured veteran hospitality guru Chip Conley out of retirement to join his team. Evan Spiegel, Khan’s boss at Snapchat, was born in 1990.

I’m particularly attuned to this trend right now because here at Fortune, we’re in the final stages of putting together our 40 Under 40 ranking of the most influential young people in business. It’s fascinating to see these A-list executives lining up to report to bosses who might be closer in age to their children. It’s a reflection, certainly, of the huge appeal of the opportunities (and pay packages) the well-funded new economy companies can offer. It also may reflect the perception of a lack of innovation in places like finance or politics these days. At the same time, it means that as these young, fast-moving companies mature, they’re finding they need the benefit of some wisdom and seasoning. It’s a fun inversion to observe, and I’m guessing we’re going to see a lot more of it.

Shire’s $30 billion bid for Baxalta, Puerto Rico’s default and the rest of the day’s news below. Enjoy the day–and don’t forget to tune into Fortune Live, our half-hour weekly recap of the week in business, this and every Friday at 3pm.

Leigh Gallagher


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