Former Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang quits cloud unit in surprise exit amid leadership shakeup

Ex Alibaba Group Holding Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang Yong is stepping down as head of the e-commerce giant’s cloud division on the same day he was scheduled to hand over the reigns of the parent company to a co-founder. Joseph C. Chai.

Alibaba’s new CEO Eddie Wu Yongming assumed his new role on Sunday, as did Tsai, the same day Zhang took over as executive chairman and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group, an Alibaba spokesman said.

Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post, Announced in June Zhang, 51, will step down as Alibaba CEO and chairman but remain head of the cloud division, “given the importance of the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group as it moves towards a full spin-off”. Zhang took over as Alibaba CEO in 2015 and chairman in 2019.

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Alibaba Group shares were down 2.8 percent at HK$88.25 as of 9.45am local time, the most since Aug. 18. The stock is up 1.7 percent this year and has advanced 3.5 percent since the group announced a leadership change on June 20. .

“Four years ago, when [Alibaba founder] Jack [Ma] The chairman passed the torch to Daniel, who has driven our commitment to an institutionalized succession system that has supported a sustainable company for centuries,” Tsai, the Post chairman, said in an internal letter to Alibaba employees on Sunday. “Today, Daniel has passed that torch to Eddie and me under the continuation of our system for leadership succession.”

He added that the company has decided to “invest US$1 billion in a technology fund” founded by Zhang. “This fund will support Alibaba’s strategy of investing in future growth and continuing to develop our technology ecosystem,” Tsai said, adding that the Alibaba partnership will award Zhang the special title of “Aliran Emeritus,” a first for the company.

Alibaba “will continue to implement the previously announced plan to place Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group under a separate management team,” the spokesperson said.

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