When Alibaba’s erstwhile CEO Jack Ma passed the torch to Daniel Zhang, helium established a strategy that regularly rotates executives to guarantee the institution ever stays agile successful the fast-changing net space. It’s clip for this year’s reshuffle — the e-commerce and unreality computing titan made a few large reshuffle announcements connected Thursday.
The determination that stands retired is happening astatine Alibaba Cloud, the third-largest nationalist unreality infrastructure supplier successful the satellite lone aft AWS and Microsoft. Jeff Zhang, erstwhile president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, is stepping down portion Daniel Zhang (unrelated), Alibaba’s CEO, takes implicit arsenic acting president.
The timing of the restructuring is sparking speculation. Just nether 2 weeks ago, Alibaba Cloud’s Hong Kong servers suffered a superior outage that unopen down galore services successful the region, including major crypto speech OKX. The strategy failure, which lasted up to 1 time for immoderate customers, made the incidental one of the biggest among Chinese unreality providers successful caller history.
Jeff isn’t gone but volition alternatively absorption his attraction connected Alibaba’s basal probe institute Damo Academy. As 1 of the 29 members of Alibaba Partnerships, a radical of exclusive executives with large power connected the firm’s direction, Zhang has played a pivotal relation since helium joined 2 decades ago. For one, helium was instrumental successful designing the strategy infrastructure for Taobao, 1 of the world’s biggest online marketplaces.
At Damo, helium volition proceed to beryllium successful complaint of IoT initiatives and Alibaba’s proprietary spot improvement squad T-Head, which has assumed caller value arsenic China navigates escalating tech sanctions from the U.S.
“Over the past 4 years, Jeff has led the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence squad to present outstanding results successful technological innovation and manufacture influence,” said Daniel successful an interior email to staff.
Aside from taking the helm of the unreality business, the CEO volition besides beryllium managing DingTalk, Alibaba’s endeavor connection app that works intimately with the unreality unit. As we wrote successful 2020:
At its yearly acme this week, Alibaba Cloud reiterated its latest strategy to “integrate unreality into DingTalk (in Chinese),” its enactment collaboration app that’s analogous to Slack.
The slogan suggests the strategical relation Alibaba wants DingTalk to play: an operating strategy built connected Alibaba Cloud, the world’s third-largest infrastructure arsenic a work down Amazon and Microsoft. It’s a narration that echoes the 1 betwixt Microsoft 365 and Azure, arsenic president of Alibaba Cloud Zhang Jianfeng antecedently suggested successful an interview (in Chinese).
It’s hard to ideate Daniel being dedicated to the unreality concern implicit the agelong term, which is astir apt wherefore helium is getting the acting president title. As the second-biggest concern of Alibaba accounting for 10% of wide revenues successful Q2, the unreality conception volition surely spell retired of its mode to find the adjacent suitable boss.
Whoever the successor is, it won’t beryllium a tiny feat. The unreality limb is experiencing sluggish maturation successful caller quarters arsenic it loses important sources of overseas income. Alibaba Cloud was erstwhile the go-to solution for galore Chinese net firms expanding abroad, but with rising geopolitical tensions, they are turning to overseas providers similar AWS to sever ties with China. Case successful point, Alibaba Cloud reportedly took a large deed aft TikTok moved its information disconnected its service.
As the institution remarked successful its ain words connected its November net call:
“Revenue from customers successful [the] net manufacture declined astir 18% that was chiefly driven by declining gross from the apical net lawsuit that has gradually stopped utilizing our overseas unreality work for its planetary business, online acquisition customers, arsenic good arsenic softening request from different customers successful China net industry.”
Domestically, Alibaba Cloud faces rivalry from its nemesis Tencent, which has a stronghold successful games. It’s besides competing with Huawei and Tianyi, the unreality offshoot of authorities telecom elephantine China Telecom, some of which are getting a headstart successful supporting authorities and nationalist infrastructure.