Outgoing Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang is leaving the cloud enterprise in a shock transfer

Outgoing Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang is leaving the cloud business in a surprise move

Written by Brenda Goh

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s Alibaba Group introduced on Sunday that Daniel Zhang will step down from its cloud enterprise, a shock transfer simply two months after the corporate stated he would depart his roles as CEO and chairman of the group to deal with its cloud unit.

Zhang beforehand held three concurrent roles, heading the group in addition to the cloud intelligence unit. The unit is China’s largest cloud supplier and is ready to be separated from Alibaba as a part of the group’s restructuring.

The corporate introduced its determination to depart the unit in an inside letter to staff, which was reviewed by Reuters. Zhang was scheduled at hand over the position of group CEO to Eddie Wu on Sunday, and the letter stated Wu would additionally take cost of the cloud enterprise after Zhang’s departure.

“Our firm’s board of administrators expresses its deep appreciation to Mr. Zhang for his contributions to the Alibaba Group over the previous 16 years,” Alibaba stated in a press release merely saying that Wu would succeed Zhang in his roles within the cloud unit.

The corporate didn’t instantly reply to a request to make Zhang out there for remark.

The cloud enterprise is a key a part of a restructuring introduced by the Chinese language e-commerce big in March that cut up the corporate into six items, every with its personal boards of administrators and executives.

Alibaba stated in Might that it goals to finish the general public itemizing of its cloud unit throughout the subsequent 12 months. The corporate stated on Sunday that it’ll proceed to implement the spin-off plan inside a separate administration workforce to be appointed.

Analysts estimated the cloud unit’s worth at between $41 billion and $60 billion, however stated the quantities of knowledge it oversees might put it within the crosshairs of regulators at dwelling and overseas.

“Daniel has expressed his want to transition away from his position as chairman and CEO of Cloud Intelligence Group,” the corporate stated within the letter signed by Joseph Tsai, a co-founder of Alibaba who additionally took over as chairman from Zhang. Deliberate for Sunday.

“After cautious consideration, Alibaba’s Board of Administrators has revered and accepted Daniel’s determination and has appointed Eddie as Appearing President and CEO of Cloud Intelligence Group, efficient instantly.”

The letter added that Zhang will proceed to contribute to Alibaba by “channelling his experience in another way,” saying that Alibaba will make investments $1 billion in a know-how fund that Zhang will set up. The corporate additionally awarded Zhang an “honorary” title, the primary of its sort in its historical past.

“The fund will help Alibaba’s technique to speculate for future development and additional develop our know-how ecosystem.”

Zhang took over as head of Alibaba’s cloud unit in December after it suffered an outage that she described because the “longest large-scale failure” in additional than a decade.

Zhang, a former accountant, joined Alibaba in 2007 and is finest generally known as the architect behind the corporate’s flagship annual purchasing competition Singles’ Day. He was appointed CEO in 2015 and took over the presidency in 2019, succeeding each roles from Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma.

His last years as group chairman noticed him handle the tech big via a turbulent two years that noticed Alibaba closely focused by rising regulatory scrutiny.

(Reporting by Brenda Goh, Modifying by Hugh Lawson and Sharon Singleton)

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