Lucy Peng, Chief People Officer and Chief Executive Office of Ant Financial Services Group
Photograph by Zhejiang Daily — Imaginechina/AP
Lucy Peng—co-founder of Alibaba and a former economics professor—stepped down from her role as Alibaba’s Chief People Officer this past April. She’s now fully dedicated to Ant Financial, where she is in her third year as CEO. With an estimated $3.9 billion in revenue, the Internet finance company—which operates the online payment powerhouse Alipay—is shaping up to be a formidable opponent to Paypal, its American counterpart. As of June 2015, Ant Financial counted over 400 million active users—nearly quadruple those of Paypal. The company also raised $4.5 billion in a recent round of funding this past April that valued the company at $60 billion. Next up: a highly-anticipated IPO to take place by early 2017.