New Delhi: Alibaba co-founder and chairman Jack Ma on Monday announced that he would step down as the company's executive chairman next year, naming the e-commerce giant's CEO as his successor.
Ma will hand over the keys of his company to 46-year-old Daniel Zhang in an unprecedented succession plan that will slowly take the focus off one of China's most recognisable corporate names over the next 12 months, the Post report said.
Here is all you want to know about Alibaba's next chairman Daniel Zhang
- Zhang will be promoted to the executive chairman on September 10, 2019, while Ma remains a director on Alibaba's board and a permanent member of the Alibaba Partnership, according to a letter written by Ma to all staff including to the Post.
- Zhang was known to Alibaba employees as "Xiaoyaozi" (free and unfettered one), the name of a character from a Louis Cha wuxia novel.
- Zhang, who leads Alibaba`s investor calls with polish stemming from his years at global auditors Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers, has been CEO since 2015.
- Since Zhang, known as Zhang Yong in mainland China, was named chief executive in May 2015, Alibaba has seen consistent and sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters.
- The company has added around $200 billion to its market value since he became CEO.
- Zhang was a key architect of Alibaba`s "Singles Day," the November 11 event that has become the world`s largest online shopping festival.
- Crucially, Zhang oversaw the growth of retail platform Tmall, which has grown to be one of the company`s most significant revenue drivers, squaring off against major Chinese e-commerce rival JD.com Inc.
- Zhang, who is from Shanghai, said in an interview with local business publication Yicai last year that he returned to the city once a week from Alibaba`s Hangzhou headquarters to recharge and spend time with his wife.
- He added that he had not bought a house in Hangzhou because he didn`t have time. To relax, he enjoys watching soccer and basketball.
- Zhang made appearances at the World Economic Forum in Davos and other global events.
- Ma has described Zhang as having "superb talent, business acumen and determined leadership."
(With Inputs from Reuters/PTI)