China’s e-commerce giant, Alibaba Group, has announced a comprehensive management reshuffle. The company adapts to rapid technological advancements by restructuring into six distinct business divisions. The strategic moves aim to stimulate growth during a period of economic slowdown in China, despite the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions several months ago. In a statement released on Tuesday, Alibaba confirmed that Eddie Wu, the current chairman of its e-commerce group, will succeed Daniel Zhang as CEO.
Meanwhile, Zhang will assume the role of CEO and chairman of Alibaba’s cloud computing uni. It has received approval for its spin-off and is expected to be listed for trading within a year.
Stepping into Leadership: Joseph Tsai’s Expanded Role at Alibaba
Joseph Tsai, Alibaba’s existing executive vice chairman, will succeed Zhang as chairman of the Alibaba Group. Tsai, a Taiwan-born Canadian citizen, is well-known for his ownership of the NBA basketball team, the Brooklyn Nets. His position as chairman of the Alibaba-owned Hong Kong newspaper, the South China Morning Post. Tsai played a pivotal role in the founding of Alibaba in the late 1990s.
Eddie Wu has a longstanding history with Alibaba, having been the company’s technology director since its inception in 1999. He also served as a special assistant to Jack Ma. Alibaba’s co-founder and former board chairman, from 2014 to 2019. Additionally, Wu has held positions as the CTO of Alibaba’s digital wallet business, Alipay, and as chairman of Alibaba Health.
Alibaba’s restructuring will enable five of its six business divisions. Excluding the core e-commerce sector, to secure external funding and pursue initial public offerings (IPOs). These changes are set to take effect on September 10.
Daniel Zhang, who became Alibaba Group’s CEO in 2015 and succeeded Jack Ma as chairman in 2019, is renowned for establishing the Singles’ Day shopping festival. Over the years, this event has grown to become the world’s largest online shopping extravaganza.
In a statement, Zhang expressed his confidence in the timing of his transition, particularly with regard to the increasing importance of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group, which is progressing towards its full spin-off. Zhang looks forward to working closely with Joseph Tsai and Eddie Wu in the coming months to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
Following the announcement, Alibaba’s Hong Kong shares experienced a decline of approximately 1.5% on Tuesday afternoon.
In recent years, Alibaba has faced increased scrutiny from the Chinese government as part of a broader crackdown on the technology industry.