June 21, 2023: On Tuesday, Alibaba announced a powerful leadership change, with CEO and Chairman Daniel Zhang preparing to move this year and be replaced by veterans at the Chinese tech firm.
Eddie Yongming Wu will step in as the new CEO, while Joe Tsai will take over as chairman in September.
The two executives are Alibaba veterans and close intimates of Alibaba’s billionaire Jack Ma.
Eddie Wu is one of the co-founders of Alibaba, who first served it as a technology director in 1999. His experience in the company’s core e-commerce business, monetization, and technology makes him a well-rounded candidate to oversee the entire group.
After Alibaba split into six units, he was appointed the Taobao and Tmall Group chairman. Previously, the two units were the two most extensive e-commerce services in China.
Wu has also been the chief technology officer of key businesses, including Taobao and Alipay, the mobile payments service run by Alibaba affiliate Ant Group. He was in charge of Alibaba’s monetization platform on Taobao and Tmall and directed efforts to push the Taobao mobile app that propelled the company into the smartphone era.
“Eddie Wu’s CEO appointment shouldn’t be a huge surprise. He co-founded Alibaba and played a key role in both the technology development and monetization of Taobao and Alipay,” Jacob Cooke, CEO of WPIC, an e-commerce tech and marketing company that supports foreign brand sales in China, said.
“His elevation to the group’s CEO is a natural transition and signals the unswerving importance of e-commerce in the organization’s roadmap,” Cooke added.