Amidst reports that Alibaba is further growing its business in Russia with a deal in e-commerce underway, the retailer is making moves in its executive lineup. Founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma is leaving his post on the Board, and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang is stepping in to fill the position. The transition will occur on September 10th of 2019, so Ma will finish out this coming year, while Zhang prepares for his new title. Further, Ma will serve out the rest of his term on the Board of Directors through 2020, when the annual general meeting of shareholders is held.
“I have put a lot of thought and preparation into this succession plan for ten years. I am delighted to announce the plan today thanks to the support of the Alibaba Partnership and our board of directors. I also want to offer special thanks to Alibaba colleages and your families, because your trust, support, and our joint enterprise over the past 19 years have prepared us for this day with confidence and strength,” Ma shared in a letter. “This transition demonstrates that Alibaba has stepped up to the next level of corporate governance from a company that relies on individuals, to one built on systems of organizational excellence and a culture of talent development.”
According to a press release, Ma is a lifetime partner in Alibaba Partnership—which currently consists of 36 partners, who are also members of senior management for the company and its affiliates—and he is a member of the company’s partnership committee.
“Daniel has been with Alibaba Group for 11 years. Since he took over as CEO, he demonstrated his superb talent, business acumen, and determined leadership. Under his stewardship, Alibaba has seen consistent and sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters. His analytical mind is unparalleled, he holds dear our mission and vision, he embraces responsibility with passion, and he has the guts to innovate and test creative business models,” Ma shared in the letter. “Deservedly, China's business news media has named him the No. 1 CEO in 2018. For these reasons, he and his team have won the trust and support of customers, employees, and shareholders. Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time, because I know from working with them that they are ready, and I have complete confidence in our next generation of leaders.”
Congratulations to Jack Ma and Daniel Zhang on this next chapter in the Alibaba journey!