According to sources and multiple Chinese media reports, Alibaba Group Holding has dissolved its chief technology officer (CTO) job as part of a corporate reform that would break up the enormous conglomerate into smaller, more independent entities.
According to sources, Wu Zeming, Alibaba’s CTO since six months, has become CEO of Aicheng Technology, an Alibaba subsidiary and technology service provider founded in 2021
People claimed Wu reports to Alibaba chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang Yong.
Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post, declined to comment on the shift, originally reported by Chinese online site Speed Daily.
Alibaba’s long-held organizational approach relies on a centralised, “middle office” technology team to empower diverse business lines. The CTO position’s abolition has raised questions in China’s technology industry.
Alibaba called the CTO-led unit, which serves Tmall, Taobao, and Taocaicai, “the world’s largest e-commerce platform technology base” in a campus employment poster.
Cloud intelligence, Taobao-Tmall commerce, local services, Cainiao smart logistics, global digital commerce, and digital media and entertainment will now have to apply for or buy Aicheng technological services.
According to Speed Daily, the CTO’s mid-office technology department will be split and integrated into clusters. Tmall and Taobao, Alibaba’s main business group, will absorb the business centre and supply chain centre, while Aicheng will handle most other responsibilities.
Alibaba owns Zhejiang Aicheng Technology Development Co., which Jeff Li, a former Alibaba CTO, represents.
Alibaba announced its greatest corporate reorganization plan in late March, dividing the firm into six autonomous organizations with their own CEOs and boards of directors and profit and loss responsibility.
According to a letter to staff, Alibaba will establish up corporate entities for additional businesses using a “1+6+N” structure: 1 for the group, 6 for the six business units, and N for future business units.
Alibaba says the makeover will revive the company’s entrepreneurial spirit. Group CEO Zhang encourages spun-off companies to file for IPOs.
Reuters reported this week that Cainiao, a possible public listing contender, is seeking up to US$2 billion in an IPO in Hong Kong next year. Last month, Bloomberg reported that Alibaba’s grocery business Freshippo is also planning an IPO in the city.