Alibaba’s Zhang to step down as CEO, chairman amid business shakeup

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Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is shaking up its leadership, with Daniel Zhang planning to step down from his roles as both chairman and chief executive.

Joseph Tsai, Alibaba’s


current executive vice chairman, will take on the chairman position effective Sept. 10, the Chinese e-commerce giant announced Tuesday. Eddie Yongming Wu, who serves as the chairman of Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall Group e-commerce businesses, will become CEO of the company and take over Zhang’s spot on Alibaba’s board of directors, also effective Sept. 10.

Zhang plans to stay at Alibaba and will continue to lead the company’s cloud intelligence group as both the chairman and CEO of that unit. Alibaba previously announced that it planned to spin out the cloud business as part of a broader move to unlock value from its sprawling enterprise.

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“This is the right time for me to make a transition, given the importance of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group as it progresses towards a full spin-off,” Zhang said in Tuesday’s release. He called out “[t]he emergence of generative AI,” which “has also opened up exciting new opportunities that Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group is well-positioned to capture.”

Zhang has been Alibaba’s chairman since 2019, when co-founder Jack Ma stepped down from that position. He’s been the company’s CEO since 2015.

Alibaba is in the midst of a big shakeup after having announced earlier this year that it planned to reorganize into six business units that would have the flexibility to raise funding and pursue initial public offerings if desired. Alibaba has evolved into a massive enterprise with footholds in international commerce, logistics, food delivery and more, but the recent thinking has been that investors could come to better appreciate some of those units on their own.

Read: Why Alibaba’s business shakeup isn’t helping its stock

In Hong Kong, shares of Alibaba fell 1.6%.

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