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Alibaba Reshuffles and Jack Ma Steps Down

Alibaba Group announced it will undergo another major restructuring to adapt to China’s changing e-commerce environment and reaching the company’s goal of becoming an e-commerce “ecosystem”.

The latest Alibaba restructuring sees the company divided into 25 business units, which will be overseen by two committees – a strategic committee and an execution committee primarily made up of nine top company managers. The new units will include retail and wholesale e-commerce, data mining and cloud computing.

In a separate announcement this week, Alibaba’s chairman and CEO Jack Ma confirmed he will step down as CEO of the company on 10th May 2013.  Ma will remain as executive chairman of Alibaba to focus more on the company’s strategic direction, developing the company’s managerial talent, and strengthening Alibaba’s social-responsibility efforts.

The Lex Column of the Financial Times stated on January 17, 2012 that Alibaba was an investment banker’s dream.  Having taken Alibaba.com public, then private again, raising money to reduce Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba.  By turning the leadership of the Alibaba Group over to a younger CEO at the 10th anniversary of Taobao, Ma may be setting the stage for an IPO.   With the Yahoo stake valued at US$ 7bn, the total value of the Group could be US$35bn.  The FT added that based on the third quarter earnings such valuation should be about right.

Source: Business Strategies Group Hong Kong – www.bsgasia.com and Financial Times

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