A Goldman Sachs veteran of 20 years, including a nine-year stint as its chairman of Asia, Evans will be tasked with building partnerships with European, American and other Asian companies looking to break into Alibaba's massive presence in China's booming e-commerce market.
Alibaba chief executive Daniel Zhang explained in a statement:
Globalisation is Alibaba Group's most important strategy for the coming decades, and our goal is to help 10m global businesses and serve 2bn consumers around the world.
We have been laying the foundation for many years and now we need a global team in place with best-in-class talent to bring our vision to fruition. To that end, I can think of no one better than Michael to help Alibaba become a truly global company.
Evans had already served as an independent director of Alibaba since its record-breaking initial public offering last September - the position of president has been newly-created for him.