Daniel Zhang, CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is stepping down and moving to the group’s new “cloud intelligence” company. Eddie Wu, current head of e-commerce, will take over as CEO.
A retail man at the helm
Zhang had been Alibaba CEO and Chairman for eight years, but now he will take charge of the technology group’s cloud division. Since its restructuring in March, Alibaba has been split into six separate businesses, including e-commerce in China and abroad, logistics and cloud computing. Until now, Zhang combined the management of the holding company and the cloud business.
The new CEO, Wu, is currently chairman of the Taobao and Tmall e-commerce divisions. Last week, Tmall also announced its arrival in Europe. As group chairman, Daniel Zhang will be replaced by Joseph C. Tsai, currently vice-chairman, from 10 September.
Both Tsai and Wu have long been active within Alibaba, and are also said to be close to founder Jack Ma. Ma disappeared from the limelight after criticising Chinese policies, but reappeared in his home country on the eve of the restructuring announcement. He would still be closely linked to “his” company behind the scenes, as director Michael Evans also insinuated at a conference in Paris last week. Asked about the founder, Evans said that Ma remained heavily involved as shareholder, but that he had taken up teaching at the University of Tokyo.