Zhuang Chenchao, CEO of leading online Chinese travel website Qunar, officially resigned as both CEO and board member of the company on Monday, NetEase Tech reported.
Zhuang left the company together with the company’s CTO David Wu. Chen Zhenyu, the former Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile Business Group for the company, has been appointed as the new CEO.
Both Zhuang and Wu didn’t discuss specific plans for further employment following their resignation in the internal letter. Wu mentioned that he left the company “out of personal reasons”. Prior to Zhuang and Wu’s resignations, the previous CFO of the company, Yilu Zhao and COO, Xiaomei Peng, also left the company.
According to Zhuang’s internal letter, Zhuang and a few other former high executives at Qunar will continue to serve as strategic consultants to the company. The current team at Qunar holds about 10% of total company stock after the acquisition by Ctrip last October.
Ctrip, another leading online travel website in China, acquired Qunar from China’s biggest search engine Baidu with its own shares, equivalent to 25% of voting rights, two months ago. The deal was believed to have been closed between Baidu and Ctrip without consent from the administration of Qunar.
“The deal that occurred at the end of October wasn’t what we, the administration, planned for or expected – it was neither the best option, nor the second best,” Zhuang wrote in the internal letter about his resignation.
According to Zhuang, the market value of the deal was close to USD ten billion, “this is the biggest deal among all Chinese Internet merger and acquisition cases”. Zhuang also claimed that Qunar has an annual revenue of over RMB four billion (USD 615 million).
Qunar and Ctrip together account for 65% of China’s online travel market as of Q3 2015, according to a report by market research agency Analysys International in December. The acquisition was among the biggest M&A cases for the Chinese tech world in 2015.