Alibaba says CFO Wu will take charge of strategic investments

June 18, 2019 16:42
A file picture shows CFO Maggie Wu (2nd from right) with other top Alibaba executives in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Sept 19, 2014 after the firm’s listing. Wu has now been given added responsibilities within the group. Photo: Bloomberg

Alibaba Group on Tuesday unveiled its most significant business reshuffle since co-founder Jack Ma announced his pending retirement, as the e-commerce firm looks to bolster its investment focus in the face of slowing growth, Reuters reports.

Chief Financial Officer Maggie Wu will oversee Alibaba’s strategic investments unit, taking over that responsibility from Executive Vice-Chairman Joe Tsai who will support Wu in her expanded role, the report said, citing information posted on Alibaba's official WeChat account.

“To guarantee innovation, invest in our future, Alibaba is undertaking an organizational upgrade,” the company was quoted as saying in a statement signed by Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang, who will become chairman when Ma retires on September 10.

The changes are effective from Tuesday.

Expanding Wu’s remit is aimed at more tightly integrating Alibaba’s investments into its overall eco-system, a source told Reuters.

Tsai will remain executive vice-chairman, the person said.

The change comes as Alibaba invests in new business lines such as cloud computing as a boom in its core e-commerce has peaked and revenue growth slows.

Wu has been CFO since 2013. Tsai sits on the board and has served on investment committees of Alibaba Group and affiliate Ant Financial.

He joined the company in 1999 and emerged as a key dealmaker, helping draw in investment from the likes of US investment bank Goldman Sachs, the report noted.

In its Tuesday statement, Alibaba said its supermarket division, Freshippo, will become a standalone business, while enterprise software unit DingTalk will be merged into the firm’s cloud unit.

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