Eddie Wu, Alibaba Group’s CEO, is set to assume the top role at the company’s Taobao and Tmall e-commerce business, succeeding Trudy Dai in the latest management reshuffle. Dai, one of Alibaba’s 18 co-founders, will assist in establishing an asset management company, as per an internal letter from Alibaba Chairman Joe Tsai. This announcement follows Wu’s appointment as Alibaba’s CEO in September, replacing Daniel Zhang. Wu has served as chairman of Taobao and Tmall Group since May 2023.
The e-commerce business, once a major driver of Alibaba’s success, has faced challenges from rising competitors like PDD, and China’s sluggish consumption growth. PDD’s U.S.-listed shares have surged over 80% this year, surpassing Alibaba’s market capitalization. In contrast, Alibaba’s shares have fallen about 14% year-to-date. The recent decline in Alibaba shares was exacerbated by news that the company scrapped plans to list its cloud business due to U.S. restrictions on chip exports to China.
Alibaba’s March announcement of a massive restructuring into six units aimed at facilitating individual stock listings, especially for its cloud business. Wu had assumed the role of acting chairman and CEO of Alibaba’s Cloud Intelligence Group in September after Zhang’s sudden departure from the business unit.
Eddie’s leadership of both Alibaba Cloud and Taobao and Tmall Group will focus on significant and sustained investment in the core businesses of cloud computing and e-commerce, according to Tsai’s letter. The company aims to empower a new cohort of management leaders and develop fundamental skillsets from the bottom up.
Trudy Dai, having accomplished the mission regarding Taobao and Tmall, will transition to her new role in the asset management company, leveraging her strengths. Alibaba had expressed plans to monetize its non-core assets during its latest earnings call in mid-November, revealing $67 billion in equity securities and other investments on its balance sheet.
The letter did not provide specific details about these non-core assets.
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