Jack Ma still has incredible power: Directly ‘directed’ Alibaba’s split into 6, deciding which leaders ‘go or stay’ despite 4 years of retirement
- Tram Ho
A source from the WSJ said that Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is said to be the one who “directed” the split into six of Alibaba Group – the company he built 24 years ago, from abroad.
Despite stepping down as Chairman of Alibaba in 2019, Jack Ma remains a strong influence at the company and is still involved in important strategic decisions. In recent months, he has held a meeting with top Alibaba executives including current Chairman and CEO Danial Zhang, urging them to split up the company. The purpose of this is for Alibaba to become more agile and able to compete in an increasingly crowded market like China.
This Monday, Jack Ma also made a surprise visit to a school in Alibaba’s hometown in Hangzhou – marking the first time he has returned to China in nearly a year. Coincidentally, Jack Ma also made a public appearance just a day before the company announced its split into 6 entities, each with its own CEO and board of directors and will pursue its own IPOs in the future. .
According to WSJ sources, Jack Ma originally planned to visit Japan earlier this week. But it is still unclear what caused him to suddenly change his plans. Therefore, Jack Ma’s trip back to his hometown has sparked speculation that he and the Chinese government have reached some kind of agreement.
The country’s most famous tech billionaire has almost “disappeared” since Alibaba came under scrutiny from the Chinese government over the past two years. Jack Ma has since toured fish farms and countryside around the world, while back home, Alibaba was fined $2.8 billion in April 2021. The company’s Ant financial arm also had its IPO canceled at the last minute and forced an entire business overhaul.
The return of tycoon Jack Ma in recent days, according to the WSJ, may be a message from the government showing that: It is time to return and contribute to the development of China.
Jack Ma’s representative said that Jack Ma is no longer involved in the management and operation of Alibaba. He also travels frequently to China and abroad, focusing on developing the agricultural industry with new technologies.
As for Alibaba, this group still insists that the reform process is completely led by CEO Zhang. His role as CEO of both Alibaba and the company’s nascent cloud computing business “shows confidence and confidence in his leadership of Alibaba’s future.”
In reality, however, Jack Ma still maintains influence as a member of the Alibaba Partnership – a group of senior leaders that make strategic decisions. This group was established in 2020, has the full right to nominate people to vacant seats of the board of directors in the group.
It is not clear what prompted Jack Ma to return to China, but investors and analysts say he appears to have reached some sort of agreement with Beijing.
“ He is a very good negotiator ,” said Jing Qian, co-founder and managing director of Asia Society Policy. He said that Jack Ma could help Beijing’s expanding ambitions in the battle for dominance in the technology sector. “ We forget that Jack was previously known for his ability to mobilize resources to innovate and beat foreign competitors .”
Alibaba executives say the restructuring is designed to give the company greater flexibility and access to capital. This is also in line with China’s aspiration to break the monopoly to open up to competition.
The split marks a reversal of the “Alibaba economy” model conceived by Jack Ma in 2017, when he was chairman of Alibaba and linked the company to affiliates including the fintech giant. Ant.
However, the separation is not easy. One of the challenges is how to distribute veterans and leaders across different companies. Many corporate leaders will have to leave or take up branch positions.
The source said, it is all a decision from Jack Ma because he still receives respect and loyalty from senior staff. It was he who made the decision to change the positions of some leaders.
Source : Genk