Alibaba being reorganised; new CEO keen to promote youngsters

Eddie Wu is keen to have youngsters in the main business teams to promote a startup mindset


It has not been very long since Daniel Zhang took over as chairman and CEO, Alibaba. And now, amidst major restructuring of the Chinese multinational tech firm, Zhang has quit his position unexpectedly. He will be succeeded by Eddie Yongming Wu who will play CEO and director, while Joseph Tsai will be chairman of the Alibaba Group.

Wu has said that Alibaba will henceforth focus on promoting the younger employees, especially those in their mid or late 30s. In fact, over the next four years, the main business teams will comprise members from this age bracket, so that there is a progressive start-up mindset.

In his 16 years at Alibaba, Zhang helped teams transition the business from the laptop to the mobile. He is also credited with the success of the Singles Day Shopping Festival, which has come to be the country’s biggest online shopping event.

The reorganisation at Alibaba has been going on since March this year, with the theme being 1+6+N, that is, one holding company, six business groups (including cloud, e-commerce, logistics, media, entertainment) and multiple businesses. The plan is to have a different CEO and board of directors for each unit.

The move is also in conformance with the China’s efforts to check monopolies and reduce the influence of tech companies.

Following Zhang’s resignation, the shares of Alibaba fell over four per cent.

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