In an unexpected move, Daniel Zhang, the former CEO of Alibaba, quit his position as head of the company’s cloud computing division on Monday as the Chinese e-commerce behemoth completed a leadership transition.
Alibaba announced that it will contribute $1 billion to a technology fund that Zhang will set up to help the company’s growth plans in the future.
On the same day that he resigned as Alibaba’s chairman and CEO, Zhang also announced his resignation.
Alibaba’s New CEO Eddie Wu Takes Charge of Cloud Division in Leadership Transition
Alibaba announced that its new CEO, Eddie Wu, will also be in charge of its cloud division in a filing with the Hong Kong stock exchange. By Monday, both Wu and Alibaba’s new chairman Joseph Tsai had taken on their new positions. According to Alibaba, this “completed its leadership transition.”
Zhang received a message from Alibaba expressing its “deepest appreciation” for his 16 years of service to the business.
Following the news, Alibaba’s Hong Kong stock price fell 3.6% on Monday.
Tsai stated that Zhang had “expressed his wish to transition away from his role” as the head of the cloud business in an internal letter dated Sunday that was seen by the AP. She also stated that the Alibaba board had “respected and accepted Daniel’s decision.”
Daniel will keep helping Alibaba by using his experience in new ways, according to Tsai.
In order to optimize shareholder profits, Alibaba has been reorganizing itself into six business groups with the intention of eventually spinning off and listing the majority of them.
The business stated in May that it hoped to float its cloud division within the following 12 months. On Monday, it reiterated that strategy.
Zhang, who joined Alibaba in 2007, is credited with developing the company’s yearly Singles Day online shopping event. He succeeded co-founder Jack Ma as CEO of Alibaba in 2015. He succeeded Ma as chairman in 2019.