Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang relinquishes corporate role at Taobao, Tmall as part of e-commerce giant’s management reshuffle
- Trudy Dai Shan, one of Alibaba’s founding members in 1999, has succeeded Zhang as legal representative of the corporate entities behind Taobao and Tmall
- Dai, who has worked across multiple business segments in Alibaba, currently serves as the firm’s president of core domestic e-commerce
Alibaba, which owns the South China Morning Post, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.
Zhang’s stint as legal representative of Tmall and Taobao took a lot of effort and energy from Alibaba’s top executive, according to Zhang Yi, chief executive at research firm iiMedia.
“I don’t think [having Alibaba’s chairman continue in that role] is the best solution [for the company],” iiMedia’s Zhang said. “The changes made [by Alibaba] show that the development of Taobao and Tmall has reached a bottleneck and a breakthrough is needed.”
On Dai’s latest corporate responsibility, analysts expect her to face a new set of challenges.
“Dai has her work cut out for her, as Alibaba navigates increased competition and anaemic consumption growth,” said Michael Norris, research and strategy manager at marketing advisory firm AgencyChina. “Principal challenges include keeping Taobao competitive amid low-cost competition and keeping Tmall competitive amid new e-commerce formats.”
Before starting her job as president of core domestic e-commerce in January, Dai served as president of Alibaba’s industrial e-commerce operation from January 2017 to December 2021. That included Alibaba.com, 1688.com, AliExpress, Taobao Deals and digital agriculture. She concurrently served as president of Alibaba’s community e-commerce from March to December 2021. She was also Alibaba’s chief customer officer from June 2014 to January 2017.