China's Youku Tudou Announces Restructuring, Appoints New COO

Victor Koo, Chairman and CEO of Youku Tudou.

The restructuring is aimed at providing a strong basis for the group's efforts to expand in the movie and TV business.

Chinese online TV company Youku Tudou has restructured its business to form two new units, Heyi Studios and Innovative Marketing, and announced the appointment of the former China head of the Havas agency, Edward Su, as chief operating officer.

Youku Tudou, in which e-commerce giant Alibaba has an 18.5 percent stake, formed Heyi Pictures in August last year to spearhead its move into the movie business, and since its inception it has scored three major box office successes — The Continent, Fleet of Time and Tsui Hark's The Taking of the Tiger Mountain.

“The framework of Youku Tudou’s multi-business unit and content center structure is in place," said Victor Koo, chairman and CEO of Youku Tudou. "We’re well poised to rapidly ramp up our content creation, accelerate our revenue growth and diversification and fully capitalize on the opportunities that the converging online and offline worlds bring us."

Under the restructuring, Youku Tudou’s chief content officer, Sunny Xiangyang Zhu, has been appointed CEO of Heyi Studios, which produces original TV dramas and innovative web-native content.

Yawei Dong, chief marketing officer, will head the Innovative Marketing business unit to develop programmatic advertising, video e-commerce, big data and other new marketing models, Youku Tudou said in a statement.

As a result of the change, Youku Tudou now has six business units: its Youku platform, its Tudou platform, Heyi Pictures, Heyi Studios, Innovative Marketing and Cloud Entertainment BU, which focuses on gaming and OTT.

Su will oversee the sales team of Youku Tudou. Before joining Youku Tudou, Edward was CEO of China Group for Havas Worldwide, the integrated marketing communications agency. He also worked at Grey, D’arcy, Saatchi & Saatchi and Ogilvy.

In February, Heyi Pictures unveiled a slate of six projects for the year, including adaptations of popular TV shows and online comedy shows.