In 2012, JD.com (hereafter “the company”) had emerged to be the biggest B2C (Business to Consumer) e-commerce retailer in China. From 2009 to 2012, the company’s headcount quickly grew from several thousand to nearly thirty thousand. Still, it was short of talents; and the human resources (HR) department’s role and business impact were perceived as insignificant. Its founder and CEO, Richard Liu (hereafter Richard), realized that he had to strengthen the company’s internal management in order to sustain rapid growth. In 2011 and 2012, he recruited several chief officers (CxOs), including Rain Long (hereafter Rain)—chief human resources officer (CHO) and general counsel.
Case A describes the challenges she faced when joining the company in August 2012, and invites students to think about what her priorities should be when tackling these challenges. Case B describes what Rain decided to do and how she executed her priorities in the first year—primarily, two improvement projects—culture consolidation and talent review. It asks students to set priorities on tackling the remaining HR problems in the coming few years.
Human Resource Management