Alibaba today (20 June 2023) announced that Joe Tsai and Eddie Wu, two co-founders, will replace Daniel Zhang as the Group’s Chairman and CEO respectively. 

While there is a press release in English, we thought this announcement, entitled “embrace the future with a brand new outlook” and originally published in Chinese, carries interesting insights.

We have translated parts of the announcement into English below: 

Today, Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, announced through a letter to the staff that Alibaba’s restructuring is progressing smoothly. The new “1+6+N” business structure has already taken shape and the Board of Directors of each business group has begun operations. Listings and financing plans for multiple businesses are also underway and Alibaba Group assumes the role of an innovation incubator. Alibaba as a whole entity will now embrace the future with a brand new outlook.

Daniel Zhang also announced that the complete spin-off of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group has been initiated and is currently in the most crucial period of upward development, thereby requiring full dedication. In order to adapt to future development standards and requirements, it is no longer suitable for him to concurrently hold the positions of Chairman and CEO of both companies. With the approval of Alibaba Group’s Board of Directors, Daniel Zhang will step down as Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group on 10th September this year. He will then serve as Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group, focusing on the development of Alibaba Cloud, to continuously enhance its industry competitiveness and global competitiveness, and providing better, safer, and more convenient basic services for digitalization upgrades, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises in various industries.

At the same time, with the approval of Alibaba Group’s Board of Directors, Joe Tsai (the current Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group) will assume the role of Chairman, and Eddie Wu will serve as the new CEO of Alibaba Group (while continuing to hold the position of Chairman of Taobao-Tmall Group).

On 20th June, (from left to right) Eddie Wu, Daniel Zhang, and Joe Tsai officially began the handover process.

In the future, Alibaba Group not only needs to provide strong support and coordination for the development of various business groups, but also to discover and promote new technologies, become an innovation hub for business incubation, and create more value for consumers. Joe Tsai and Eddie Wu possess the corresponding vision, experience, influence, and appeal, making them the best choices to undertake the aforementioned responsibilities.

Over the past 24 years, Alibaba has consistently innovated and iterated through self-transformation, adjusting production relationships to maximize productivity and innovation. Each proactive change aimed at the future has brought about pulsating new developments for Alibaba. The largest self-transformation in history, which began in March, is making the entire organization more agile, with shorter decision-making chains and faster responsiveness. It ignites the entrepreneurial spirit, transforming Alibaba from a single entity to a group of Alibabas, from having excellent talents to having numerous entrepreneurs.

What changed is the governance system, but the original aspiration still remains. Through this transformation, Alibaba aims to create more customer value and social value in the era of the digital economy. In doing so, more people can share the dividends of the digital economic development and find their own opportunities and value within it.


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