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Alibaba President Exits Farfetch Board

Two models in a Farfetch image.
Alibaba President's exit from the board brings a new bout of uncertainty to Farfetch. (Farfetech)

Alibaba Group president J. Michael Evans has resigned from Farfetch’s board, the luxury e-tailer disclosed in a regulatory filing Wednesday.

Evans joined the board in December 2020, as part of a deal that saw Alibaba and Farfetch form a joint venture in China. That partnership also included a $1.1 billion investment from Alibaba and Cartier-owner Richemont.

Evans’ departure was effective Nov. 30, two days after The Telegraph reported that Farfetch chief executive José Neves was in talks with top shareholders, including Alibaba and Richemont, and JP Morgan to take the company private. Soon after, Farfetch announced that it was cancelling a scheduled earnings call, and that all prior financial forecasts or guidance should no longer be relied upon.

Richemont has since said it did not plan to invest further in Farfetch, and a deal to sell a 47.5 percent stake in Yoox Net-a-Porter to Farfetch appears to have stalled. Alibaba has not commented on the situation.

According to the filing, Evans’ departure from the board was not “the result of any disagreement with the Company or with its operations, policies or practices.”

Farfetch is currently exploring options amid a worsening cash position, including tapping existing partners for new investments, selling off assets, BoF reported on Monday.

Farfetch declined to comment beyond the regulatory filing and Alibaba did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Evans could not immediately be reached for comment.

Learn more:

Farfetch Seeks ‘White Knight’ to Avert Collapse, Sources Say

The e-commerce giant is seeking a cash injection to avert a collapse that could send shockwaves across the fashion industry. So far nobody has come to the table and time is running out, but founder José Neves may yet have a move up his sleeve.

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