Alibaba’s Wu Zeming Steps Into CTO Role; Jeff Zhang To Focus On R&D

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Alibaba’s Wu Zeming Steps Into CTO Role; Jeff Zhang To Focus On R&D

• Wu Zeming succeeds Li Cheng as CTO; Jeff Zhang no longer Alibaba Cloud President
• Jane Jiang to replace Judy Tong as Chief People Officer on April 1

Wu Zeming joins the C-suite. Photo credit: Alibaba Group

Alibaba Group unveiled senior management changes on Thursday, including Wu Zeming’s rise to the platform company’s C-suite as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). 

In a separate move, Jeff Zhang will focus on his role as head of the Alibaba DAMO Academy and no longer serve as President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. Jeff will continue to be responsible for Alibaba’s proprietary chip development team T-Head and Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives.

In Jeff’s stead, Daniel Zhang, Chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, will assume the role of acting President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence and responsibility for the communication and collaboration platform DingTalk.

“Over the past four years, Jeff has led the Alibaba Cloud Intelligence team to deliver outstanding results in technological innovation and industry influence,” said Daniel in an internal email to staff announcing the executive appointments.

Alibaba regularly reshuffles management annually to keep pace with the evolving internet space and with the growth of the team.

Jeff will spend more time at the DAMO Academy, where researchers explore the technology of the future and its application to the digital economy in China and beyond. DAMO Academy is working on such knotty problems as last-mile delivery in e-commerce and how the metaverse could help solve consumers’ real-life pain points.

“As the country enters a new stage of living with Covid and policymakers have given direction to the future development of the platform economy, we are more confident than ever that continued development is the key to solving the challenges we face today,” said Daniel in his email to staff.   

Alibaba Jeff Zhang management changes
Jeff Zhang speaking at Alibaba’s Apsara Conference earlier this year. Photo credit: Alibaba Group

Role Model

Wu Zeming succeeds Li Cheng as CTO. At the time of the publication of Alibaba’s annual report in July, Wu was 42 years old. After joining Alibaba in 2002, he made partner at Alibaba in 2017.

Wu has worked on the mega shopping festival, 11.11, and Alibaba’s new retail initiative in senior technical capacities. He will continue to serve as the CTO of Alibaba’s Local Services division.

“Over the past few years, Li Cheng has made important contributions to the advancement of Alibaba’s technology infrastructure, especially in our talent acquisition and development,” said Daniel.

Before Cheng became Alibaba’s CTO in 2019, he held various senior roles at its financial services affiliate, Ant Group. Moving forward, Cheng will continue to work with Daniel Zhang as an advisor on technology.

Zhou Jingren will serve as CTO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence in addition to his current role as Deputy Head of the DAMO Academy. 

The above changes and appointments take effect immediately.

People Person

Watch to learn how Jane Jiang sees the future of work

On April 1, 2023, Jane Jiang will succeed Judy Tong as Group Chief People Officer, a role she has held since 2017.

One of Alibaba’s 18 original co-founders, Jiang is a senior executive in the company’s human resources team, responsible for personnel management, including the safety, community-building and satisfaction of employees.

During the pandemic, Jiang and her colleagues implemented hybrid work policies that combine remote and in-office work for employees. Jiang has also been responsible for personnel outside of mainland China, a key function as the group looks to globalize.

Tong, 51 years old, joined Alibaba in 2000 when it was still a startup and has served in many important roles over the years as the company has grown and evolved. She was responsible for the development of Alibaba’s Xixi campus in Hangzhou, participated in creating Cainiao Smart Logistics, and led the development of Alibaba’s organizational structure during her tenure as Group Chief People Officer. Moving forward, she will continue contributing to the development of the company’s corporate culture as a member of the Alibaba Partnership.

“I want to express deep appreciation to Jeff, Li Cheng, and Judy. They have dedicated the best years of their lives to Alibaba, fulfilled important responsibilities, and made invaluable contributions to Alibaba’s development,” said Daniel.  

Alibaba CloudAlibaba GroupDAMO AcademyDaniel ZhangJane JiangJeff ZhangJudy TongleadershipLi ChengWu ZemingZhou Jingren
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