China’s Alibaba Group announced on Sunday that outgoing chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang has completely quit the company. This came as a surprise as the company had announced just two months earlier that Zhang will step down as CEO and take over the group’s cloud unit. Zhang was scheduled to pass over the baton of group CEO to Eddie Wu.
Notably, Zhang was earlier serving as the head of the Chinese company, along with it’s cloud intelligence unit. Zhang succeeded co-founder Jack Ma as group CEO in 2015 and chairman in 2019. He took charge of the cloud unit in December. The unit is reportedly the largest cloud provider in China and will be spun off from the parent group as part of it’s restructuring, reported Reuters.
The company in it’s exchange filing revealed that Wu will be now taking over Zhang’s role at the cloud unit as well. It said, “As Alibaba Group Holding Limited (the “Company” or “Alibaba Group”) announced on June 20, 2023, the Company has today completed its leadership transition with Mr. Joseph C. Tsai assuming the role of Chairman and Mr. Eddie Yongming Wu (“Mr. Wu”) assuming the role of Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company. In addition, the Company announces that Mr. Wu will succeed Mr. Daniel Yong Zhang (“Mr. Zhang”) as acting Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group, with effect from September 10, 2023.”
The e-commerce company assured in it’s release that the spin-offs plans will not be affected by these changes. It said, “The Company will continue to execute its previously announced plan to spin off Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group under a separate management team to be appointed, subject to restructuring of certain assets, liabilities and contracts, implementation of employee equity incentive plans, market conditions, as well as regulatory reviews and approvals in relevant jurisdictions.”
The company is in a major restructuring mode right now. The Chinese firm’s stock lost more than 4 per cent in Hong Kong on Monday as markets reacted to the news. Investors remained concerned about the company’s spinoff plans amidst the sudden changes.