Deep Dives

Alibaba names new chairman and CEO as focus shifts to cloud

June 20, 2023
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Alibaba, the Chinese tech giant, is making a significant management shakeup, replacing Daniel Zhang as chairman and CEO. Joseph Tsai, a co-founder of the company, will become chairman, while Eddie Wu, current head of e-commerce unit Taobao and Tmall Group, will assume the CEO role. This leadership transition comes during Alibaba's largest restructuring period.

Change in Leadership: Alibaba is going through a major change in executive leadership, with new appointments for the chairman and CEO roles.
  • Joseph Tsai, a co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba, will replace Daniel Zhang as chairman.
  • Eddie Wu, the current chairman of Taobao and Tmall Group, will succeed Zhang as CEO.
  • These changes will take effect in September, and Zhang will continue to serve as chairman and CEO of Alibaba's cloud unit.

  • Alibaba's Restructuring: The tech giant is undergoing its biggest restructuring in 24 years.
  • Alibaba announced earlier this year that it's splitting into six separate units including cloud, e-commerce, logistics, media, and entertainment.
  • Each unit now has its own CEO and board directors, and most can pursue separate listings or fundraisings.

  • Alibaba's Position and Challenges: Alibaba, being China's largest e-commerce company, is facing regulatory challenges.
  • Alibaba has more than 900 million active users annually on its platforms and operates the largest cloud computing and digital payment platforms in China.
  • However, after Alibaba's co-founder, Jack Ma, criticized Chinese financial regulators, the company has faced regulatory pressure, including a record $2.8 billion fine for violating antitrust rules.

  • Jack Ma's Role and Future: Jack Ma, Alibaba's co-founder, has been less publicly visible following regulatory scrutiny but is now focusing on research and teaching.
  • Ma has spent more time overseas and has retreated from his companies following regulatory pressures.
  • Recently, he has made more public appearances, focusing on research and teaching, and has joined the University of Hong Kong's business school for the next three years.
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