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Alibaba’s Ex-CEO Zhang Resigns as Ma’s Trusted Team Assumes Leadership

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Alibaba’s Former Chief Daniel Zhang Quits – Bloomberg News

Alibaba’s Former Chief Daniel Zhang Quits

(Bloomberg) — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s former chief Daniel Zhang has decided to quit just months after agreeing to lead its cloud division, introducing another layer of uncertainty to China’s largest e-commerce company just as it’s navigating a complicated breakup.

Zhang Steps Down as Head of Alibaba’s Cloud Division

  • Zhang decided to step down as head of Alibaba’s cloud division, the company said in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg News on Sunday.
  • Zhang had previously served as the chief executive officer and chairman before relinquishing those roles to Eddie Wu and Joseph Tsai, respectively.
  • Wu and Tsai, both close confidantes of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, officially took over their positions on Sunday.

Zhang’s Departure Ends a Storied Tenure

Zhang’s departure marks the end of a storied tenure during which Alibaba became China’s largest company and expanded into new areas such as physical retail, which became one of its fastest-growing businesses.

The former CEO will now lead a $1 billion technology investment fund on Alibaba’s behalf.

Tsai and Wu Take Over Amid Complicated Overhaul

Tsai and Wu are assuming leadership just as Alibaba undergoes a complex overhaul that will separate the company into several standalone entities in various sectors including cloud services, logistics, and online shopping.

The new leaders now face the challenge of turning around a $230 billion corporation that has struggled to regain its footing since Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on the internet sector in 2021.

Regulatory Uncertainty and Challenges for Alibaba

  • Alibaba has faced regulatory uncertainty and challenges due to Beijing’s crackdown on the tech industry.
  • The company has also encountered difficulties related to geopolitics and a weakening domestic economy.
  • Competition from other e-commerce platforms and short videos has added to Alibaba’s challenges.

The Task of the New Leadership

The new leadership’s main task is to implement a landmark restructuring plan aimed at strengthening Alibaba’s separate businesses.

With the restructuring, Alibaba aims to operate as a true investment holding company, allowing individual units to seek funding and list separately.

Tsai and Wu: The New Leaders

Joseph Tsai, a Yale alumnus and well-liked deal-maker among investors, is expected to play a significant role in managing markets and Alibaba’s prominent backers.

Eddie Wu, who has been with Jack Ma since the beginning, is credited with developing Alibaba’s ad platform and Alipay. He will serve as acting chairman and CEO of the cloud business.

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