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Alibaba’s Former Chairman Daniel Zhang Steps Down from Cloud Business Unit

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Alibaba Group Holding’s former chairman, Daniel Zhang, has announced his resignation as chairman and chief executive of the company’s cloud business unit. This move comes as Alibaba undergoes a reorganization aimed at enhancing its agility and rejuvenating its core e-commerce business amidst intense competition.

According to an Alibaba spokesperson, Eddie Wu, one of the co-founders of the company, will assume the role of acting head of the cloud unit following Zhang’s departure. Completing a leadership reshuffle that was announced earlier in June, Wu and Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai officially succeeded Zhang as Alibaba Group’s CEO and Chairman respectively on Sunday.

Alibaba intends to list its cloud unit, which is its second-largest revenue generator after its domestic e-commerce division, on the public market by spring next year. However, the cloud arm witnessed slower growth of 4% in the April-June quarter compared to the other divisions within Alibaba.

To address this, a separate management team will be appointed to oversee the cloud unit, as per the statement from the company spokesperson. Zhang, who assumed the role of CEO of the unit last year, expressed his complete dedication to the cloud business in June.

In an effort to support Alibaba’s technology ecosystem and investments, Zhang voluntarily resigned from the cloud unit and plans to establish a fund. Alibaba’s CEO, Joe Tsai, revealed in a letter to employees that the company intends to invest $1 billion in this fund.

Zhang has been an integral part of Alibaba since he joined in 2007 as a financial consultant. Over the years, he played a crucial role in leading the finance and operations of Taobao, Alibaba’s flagship marketplace. Zhang became the group’s chairman in 2019 following Jack Ma’s departure.

By Raffaele Huang

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