Alibaba shares tumble after Daniel Zhang unexpectedly quits cloud business


Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang Yong speaks during the launching ceremony of Alibaba Rural Vitalization Fund on May 17, 2021 in Lanzhou, Gansu Province of China.

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In a surprise leadership reshuffle in June, Alibaba announced that Zhang was bowing out as both CEO and chairman on Sept. 10 to focus on the cloud intelligence business.

Co-founder Wu would become CEO and director, while another co-founder, Joseph Tsai, will be chairman from September, the e-commerce giant said at that time.

Zhang was Alibaba Group CEO since 2015 and the group chairman since 2019. He has also been chairman and CEO of the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group since 2022.

“The board of our Company expresses its deepest appreciation to Mr. Zhang for his contributions to Alibaba Group over the past 16 years,” Alibaba said in the Sunday statement.

Zhang will continue to contribute to Alibaba by “channeling his expertise differently,” according to an internal letter to staff seen by Reuters, which reportedly said Alibaba will invest $1 billion in a technology fund that Zhang would establish.

“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 the restructuring plan and relevant approvals, Alibaba has said.

In May, Alibaba also announced plans to spin off its cloud division as a separate, publicly traded company.

In a major restructuring plan in March, Alibaba split into six business groups in March, paving the way for each unit to raise outside funding and go public.

Alibaba has faced slowing economic growth at home and tougher regulation from Beijing, resulting in billions being wiped off its share price.



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