Alibaba Reshuffles Cloud Business and DAMO Academy

Chinese tech giant Alibaba announced a new round of organizational restructuring on December 29. Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba, sent an email to all employees, setting the keyword for 2023 as “progress.”

This adjustment mainly involves Alibaba Cloud and DAMO Academy. Daniel Zhang will become the new president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, replacing Jeff Zhang, who will now be in charge of DAMO Academy to focus on cutting-edge technology exploration. Jeff Zhang joined Alibaba‘s e-commerce platform Taobao in 2004 and became the president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence in 2018, playing an important role in setting up a platform to cope with rapid changes.

Zhou Jingren will serve as the CTO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and as the vice president of DAMO Academy. Wu Zeming succeeded Cheng Li as CTO of Alibaba, while continuing to serve as CTO of the local life services business division. Cheng Li, who is about to step down, joined Alipay in 2005 and is one of the founders of Alipay’s technology platform. He has been the CTO of Ant Group since 2014 and the CTO of Alibaba since the end of 2019.

Judy Tong will no longer serve as the CPO of Alibaba from April 1, 2023, and Jane Jiang will take over. Tong joined Alibaba in 2000, set up Cainiao Network in 2013, and served as the chief talent officer of Alibaba since 2017.

Alibaba Cloud is the key component of this adjustment. Its revenue growth rate has been slowing down since Q4 of 2021. In the third fiscal quarter of 2022, its revenue growth rate was only 4%, which is the first time that it has dropped to single digits.

On December 18, Alibaba Cloud experienced a large-scale service outage in Hong Kong, which had a significant impact on many customers. The outage lasted from 8:56 am on December 18 to 0:30 am the next day, which was undoubtedly the longest failure of the platform in more than 10 years. It is widely believed that this personnel adjustment may be related to the accident.

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An Alibaba Cloud insider said to 36Kr, “Daniel Zhang’s being responsible for the cloud business means that the importance of the business to the group has increased, and that the company can’t find a more suitable leader for the business than Zhang.” Previously, Cai Yinghua, the former president of Huawei Enterprise Business Group (EBG) China, joined Alibaba Cloud, which was considered the biggest change to the department’s management team in recent years.