Alibaba Cloud is reportedly planning to introduce Cai Yinghua, former President of Huawei Enterprise Business Group (EBG) China, as Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group, according to an update Tuesday by Chinese tech media outlet Leiphone.
Cai’s arrival is likely related to the influence of Ren Geng, President of Alibaba Cloud China, who also previously worked at Huawei alongside Cai. After joining Alibaba, the two executives will work together to implement the latest “Regional and Industry Strategy” of Alibaba Cloud.
This formal strategy originated last year, when Alibaba Cloud completed a major upgrade to its organizational structure. First, it set up 18 industry departments, headed by industry general managers (GM) for industry digital innovation. Second, it established 16 regions, and appointed various branch GMs to be responsible for localization operations, mainly by establishing connections with local customers.
In the past few years, the executive system reporting to Zhang Jianfeng, President of Alibaba Cloud AI, is quite complicated, including GMs of various industry lines such as finance, retail and digital government, as well as heads of innovation such as DAMO Academy, DingTalk, T-Head and TmallGenie.
After the establishment of its Regional and Industrial Strategy in 2021, the requirements for Alibaba Cloud’s organizational capacity building and the management pressure on Zhang Jianfeng have been stronger than ever. According to the analysis of former Huawei employees, Cai Yinghua’s experience in the firm’s EBG is obviously suitable for the industry lines and regional lines, so as to maintain the revenue base for Alibaba Cloud.
“Coming up through the tech industry, Zhang Jianfeng is more suitable to focus on leading innovative product lines. In contrast to Alibaba Cloud’s financial and retail industries, Zhang Jianfeng has not made many public moves over the years, and this may not his future focus, an industry source said.