Daily Management Review

Major Management Reshuffle At Alibaba Group


Major Management Reshuffle At Alibaba Group
One of the major reshuffles in its history was announced by China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and is the largest shuffle in the company since the announcement of his retirement was made by its co-founder and CEO Jack Ma. According to analysts, this reshuffle is also a part of the strategy of the e-commerce company to make greater investments amidst a market where its growth is slowing down.
According to the latest reshuffle in the company as stated by it on its official WeChat account, Alibaba’s strategic investments unit would now be looked after by its Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu. Earlier that work was looked after by Executive Vice-Chairman Joe Tsai whose role now would be to lend support to Wu in her new role.
In recent years, there has been a slowdown in the revenue growth of the company and a peaking in its core e-commerce. This has forced Aliabba to seek alternative prospects such as making investments in new business lines such as cloud computing.
Last month, there were reports that claimed that Alibaba is planning to raise a total of about $20 billion by a second listing for itself at the Hong Kong stock exchange and plans to use the funds generated from the listing for further investments.
“To guarantee innovation, invest in our future, Alibaba is undertaking an organizational upgrade,” the company said in a statement signed by Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang. After the retirement of Ma on September 10, Zhang is slated to become the chairman of the group. Alibaba said that the changes are effective from June 18.
Greater integration of Alibaba’s investments into its overall eco-system is the aim of the expansion of Wu’s remit, said reports quoting information from sources with direct knowledge of the matter. The reports however did not name the sources because details of the appointment are not yet public. Reports also said that Tsai will remain executive vice-chairman.
Wu has been CFO since 2013. Tsai is laso a member of the board of Alibaba and has also been a member of various investment committees of Alibaba Group and affiliate Ant Financial. He joined the company in 1999 and is known as a crucial dealmaker over the years. He has also been instrumental in attracting investment from the likes of US investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Duncan Clark, author of “Alibaba: The House that Jack Built,” said Ma’s pending resignation made it natural for observers to question Tsai’s future at the company.
“Joe is inextricably linked to Jack,” says Clark. “As a right hand man of Jack Ma, Ma’s imminent retirement begged the question as to whether the right hand man would follow suit.”
There was no comment from Tsai.
Since a flurry of deals in 2014 and 2015, Alibaba’s outbound investment has slowed. The company was increasingly targeting the domestic market, Clark added.
The company also announced that it would transform its supermarket division, Freshippo into a standalone business, while it would merge into its cloud unit, the enterprise software unit DingTalk.