Daniel Zhang, the departing chief executive and chairman of the Chinese tech giant Alibaba, has stepped down as head of the tech company’s cloud division, a position he held for mere months.
The company announced in June that Mr. Zhang would give up the chairman role this month to Joseph Tsai, a co-founder of Alibaba, and that Eddie Yongming Wu, another founder, would became the chief executive.
But Mr. Zhang had been widely expected to continue to lead Alibaba’s cloud computing division, a position he assumed in March as part of a broad restructuring that he unveiled for the company that month. The news that Mr. Zhang would also step down from the company’s cloud division was earlier reported by both Bloomberg and Reuters.
Mr. Zhang’s standing at Alibaba became uncertain after the company announcement in June that he would be replaced by two key members of the tech giant’s old guard.
Mr. Wu will now take over the cloud division on an interim basis. “Daniel has expressed his wish to transition away from his role as chairman and C.E.O. of Cloud Intelligence Group,” Mr. Tsai wrote in a note to staff members, according to Reuters.
“Following careful consideration, the Alibaba board respected and accepted Daniel’s decision and appointed Eddie as acting chairman and C.E.O. of Cloud Intelligence Group, effective immediately,” Mr. Tsai’s note continued.
Alibaba has long been synonymous with online shopping in China. But it has also expanded into a number of other businesses in recent years, including digital payments, delivery services, travel booking and entertainment.
In recent years, the company has also become a big target of the Chinese government as part of a broader effort to tighten supervision of its internet Goliaths. Chinese officials fined Alibaba $2.8 billion in 2021, saying it hindered competition and harmed consumer interests.
Mr. Tsai, the new chairman, is known for his long ties to Jack Ma, the Chinese billionaire who was a founder of Alibaba and has long been the face of the company.
The two men have known each other since 1999, the same year Mr. Tsai joined Alibaba. Mr. Tsai, the primary owner of the Brooklyn Nets, played a major role in the company’s initial public offering in New York in 2014.
Mr. Zhang will continue to do work for the company, according to Bloomberg. He will be in charge of a $1 billion technology investment fund that Alibaba will now establish.