May 27, 2024

In late March, Zhang Yong released the so-called “the most important’ overhauled the 24-year history of Alibaba, one of China’s original tech conglomerates, splitting the company into six separate divisions to help them find investors from the public.

Now, the tech giant’s chairman and chief executive, Zhang, is stepping down and will step down from Alibaba’s board, and the company’s two co-founders have been promoted to leadership roles.

Mr Zhang, 51, will step down from his top job in September, Alibaba announced Tuesday. Instead, he will only serve as CEO of Alibaba’s cloud computing unit, a position he held when the restructuring was announced in March. Alibaba announced plans in May to spin off its cloud unit in preparation for a public listing.

Cai Chongxin, 59 years old, An Alibaba veteran with ties to the company’s founding will be promoted from executive vice chairman chairman.Joining Mr Cai is another Alibaba co-founder, Yongming Wu, who will succeed Mr Zhang as CEO.

“It’s like the oldest of the old school,” said Duncan Clark, chairman of Beijing-based investment consultancy BDA China. “The trusted team, the old guard, are back in control.”

The reshuffle comes at a critical moment for Alibaba. The company is the most high-profile target of Beijing’s crackdown on power at China’s largest tech companies. Its stock price has fallen from its 2020 peak.

Alibaba founder and billionaire Jack Ma withdrew from the public eye in 2020 after criticizing Chinese regulators for stifling innovation at Alibaba’s fintech sister company Ant Group. After his comments, Chinese officials put Ant Group on hold on plans for an initial public offering. In 2021, Chinese antitrust regulators fined Alibaba $2.8 billion for preventing merchants from selling goods on other shopping platforms.

Mr. Ma, Chinese celebrity, Long Face Company, Earlier this year, just as Alibaba announced a restructuring, the company publicly returned to China, seen in part as a response to Beijing’s stricter regulations.

On Saturday, Ma appeared in a math competition hosted by Alibaba’s research arm, according to a person familiar with the matter. postal on the Institute’s blog. Although Jack Ma no longer holds a formal role at Alibaba, he remains one of its largest shareholders, with a 4.5% stake in the company as of 2021, company filings show.

In a letter to staff on Tuesday, Mr Zhang said it was time for him to devote his “full attention” to the spin-off plan. He also mentioned the need to clearly differentiate his roles in Alibaba and the cloud division.

The new chairman, Tsai Ing-wen, has an inseparable relationship with Ma, which some former employees say is inseparable. The two met in 1999, when Alibaba was a free online portal, and Tsai joined the company that year. He helped Ma land early investments from Goldman Sachs and SoftBank and presided over the company’s 2014 initial public offering in New York, which at the time was the largest in history.

Tsai Ing-wen, Alibaba’s executive vice chairman since 2013, is the majority owner of the Brooklyn Nets, an American Basketball Association team.

The promotion of Wu, a longtime Alibaba e-commerce executive, signals to analysts that Alibaba will continue to make online shopping a core pillar of its business.

Wu, who is in his 40s, helped lead Alibaba’s transformation from an e-commerce giant to a mobile giant, turning digital payments app Alipay into one of China’s default payment methods. He will continue to serve as the chairman of Alibaba’s two major domestic e-commerce businesses, Taobao and Tmall.

Mr. Zhang told investors that Alibaba would reduce concentration and improve efficiency by breaking up its components.But Alibaba also recently announced the formation of a high-level committee to decide how to allocate funds to the new business group, which some analysts see as a sign that the company is still Put power in the hands of a few key players.

Zhang succeeded Jack Ma as chairman of Alibaba in 2019. At the time, he was a rising star at the company, the mastermind behind Alibaba’s most successful shopping event, Singles’ Day. Known for his attention to detail and problem-solving skills, Mr. Zhang is widely regarded as a complement to Mr. Ma, who is known within the company for his vision.

Alibaba is synonymous with online shopping in China. But the company has expanded into a range of businesses from digital payments to delivery services to entertainment. In recent years, it has expanded its e-commerce division and served the artificial intelligence boom with its cloud computing unit.

Jacob Cooke, chief executive of e-commerce consultancy WPIC, said the return of Tsai, who has invested heavily around the world, was a logical choice given Alibaba’s recent international focus.

Alibaba poured $1.6 billion into its e-commerce business in Southeast Asia last year, according to records of Singapore companies provided by research firm VentureCap Insights. Last week, it announced plans to launch a local version of its e-commerce arm, Tmall, in Europe.

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