Alibaba Names New CEO; Alimama President Also Appointed


SHANGHAI – Alibaba Group Holdings has named Daniel Zhang, the group’s current chief finance officer, as its new Chief Executive officer starting 10 May, replacing Jonathan Liu.

Alibaba said Liu, who succeeded Jack Ma in 2013, will remain in Alibaba as vice chairman.

The CEO change was announced barely nine months after its record IPO in the United States and as Alibaba’s sales rose to 17.4 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) in the three months through March, beating analysts’ estimates.

Zhang’s promotion came as he helped turn the Nov. 11 “Singles Day” shopping event as its world’s largest online shopping event.

Ma, in an announcement, said the leadership change at Alibaba reflects the group’s commitment to continuing to develop strong leadership from within.

“Daniel is a proven international business leader and innovator with a strong track record of delivering results,” Ma said. “Today’s announcement reflects our commitment to continuing to develop strong leadership from within.”


The 43-year-old Zhang joined Alibaba as CFO of Taobao Market place in August 2007 and has been COO since September 2013.

Earlier, Alibaba announced it has appointed Yu Yongfu as president of the Company’s online marketing unit, Alimama, to spearhead the business into new areas of growth.

YU joined Alibaba Group last June to lead the Company’s mobile business unit consisting of Autonavi and UCWeb.

Prior to joining Alibaba Group, Yu was chief executive of China’s largest mobile browser company, UCWeb.

UCWeb was acquired by Alibaba Group in June 2014.

“As China’s e-commerce industry rapidly develops, Alimama has thrived and become an integral part of Alibaba Group’s ecosystem. This new mobile Internet era will usher in more opportunities for Alimama and Yongfu’s deep experience in both mobile sector and digital media area will help further Alimama’s growth,” said Zhang.

Yu’s appointment highlights the strategic importance of online marketing and mobile Internet initiatives within Alibaba’s ecosystem.

With YU overseeing the mobile Internet business and Alimama, the Company will be able to consolidate resources and increase synergies across those units.

Alimama is Alibaba Group’s online marketing technology platform that offers sellers on Alibaba Group’s marketplaces online marketing services for both personal computers and mobile devices.

“Mobile Internet and big data are two trends that are shaping online marketing and advertising and Alimama is well poised to benefit from new opportunities on these fronts. Alimama’s goal is to expand its focus from e-commerce online marketing to become a leading media platform that efficiently matches advertisers and their target audience,” said Yu. –