A Conversation with Alibaba Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Chairman and CEO, Alibaba
President Thomas F. Rosenbaum
Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair; Professor of Physics
Daniel Zhang is a founding member of Alibaba Partnership, a Chinese multinational that is one of the world’s largest e-commerce and retail companies. He has served as chairman since 2019, chief executive officer since 2015, and director since 2014. He was chief operating officer from 2013 to 2015 and is currently a member of the investment committee of the financial-services affiliate Ant Group.
Zhang joined Alibaba in 2007 as chief financial officer of Taobao Marketplace, its customer-to-customer shopping platform. In 2008, he assumed the additional role of general manager for the business-to-consumer retail website Tmall.com. He served in both capacities until 2011, when Tmall became an independent platform.
Zhang is also chairman of Sun Art, a leading Chinese hypermarket and supermarket operator, and serves on the board of the social media platform Weibo. In addition, he is a member of the World Economic Forum’s International Business Council, vice co-chair of the board of Consumer Goods Forum, and co-chair of the China board of the Consumer Goods Forum.
Time magazine listed Zhang as one of the 100 most influential people of 2020, citing his transformation of Single’s Day, an obscure Chinese holiday, into the world’s largest online-shopping festival, as well as his role in incubating the first multichannel supermarket that allows consumers to use their smartphones to shop from home as well as in stores.
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