Who is Daniel Zhang? All about Alibaba’s future Chairman who will replace Jack Ma

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Updated: September 10, 2018 1:45:34 PM

Prior to Alibaba Group, Daniel worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Audit and Business Advisory Division in Shanghai from 2002 to 2005 and Nasdaq-listed Chinese online game developer Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd from 2005 to August 2007.

(Image: Reuters)

Alibaba announced on Monday that the Asia’s richest man Jack Ma will hang up his boots as chairman and will hand over the baton to the company’s chief executive officer Daniel Zhang. After his planned retirement from the position of chairman on September 10, 2019, on Alibaba’s 20th anniversary, Jack Ma will continue to serve as a board member until its annual general shareholders’ meeting in 2020. He will continue to be a partner in the group.

Jack Ma was an English teacher before he founded Alibaba in 1999 and turned it into a multibillion-dollar internet company, that too in less than two decades. He left his teaching job when he discovered the internet and its potential to change the world.

Who is Daniel Zhang?

Daniel Zhang, currently CEO of Alibaba, joined the group in 2007 as chief financial officer of Taobao Marketplace, a consumer-to-consumer website like eBay. A year later, he was promoted to chief operating officer of Taobao Marketplace and general manager of B2C e-commerce platform Taobao Mall or T-mall. Both are owned by Alibaba group.

He was appointed as president of Tmall.com in June 2011 after the B2C shopping platform became independent from Taobao. During his tenure at Taobao, Zhang played a vital role in driving profit and is known as the key architect of Alibaba’s annual Singles Day shopping event, which is now the largest 24-hour shopping festival in the world.

Daniel succeeded Jonathan Lu as CEO of Alibaba on May 10, 2013.

Prior to Alibaba Group, Daniel worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Audit and Business Advisory Division in Shanghai as a senior manager from the period of 2002 to 2005. After that he also worked with Nasdaq-listed Chinese online game developer Shanda Interactive Entertainment Ltd from 2005 to August 2007.

Daniel earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from Shanghai University of Finance and Economics and is also a member of the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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