Alibaba's New Leadership: How Eddie Wu's CEO Appointment Could Drive Technological Innovations - Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA)

Benchmark analyst Fawne Jiang reiterates Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA with a Buy and a $180 price target.

On Tuesday, BABA announced management and board changes. Joe Tsai, currently executive Chair, will succeed Daniel Zhang as Chair of the company. Eddie Yongming Wu, Chair of Taobao and Tmall Group, will succeed Zhang as CEO and replace him on the board. The appointments will take effect on September 10, 2023. 

Post the transition, Zhang will continue to serve as Chair and CEO of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence Group (ACIG). 

Wu is one of the co-founders of Alibaba. He came from a tech background and served as CTO of various units within Alibaba. He was instrumental in architecting BABA’s technology platforms, including its proprietary monetization platform on Taobao and Tmall. 

Wu was also the driving force behind BABA’s mobile transition and is a seasoned VC investor. 

Jiang views the transition overall as positive: 1) separation of Daniel’s role from Alibaba Group will enhance the independence of ACIG from a business perspective and improve corporate governance. His exclusive focus on ACIG is critical as BABA Cloud gears to overhaul its growth by leveraging and riding on the global AIGC development. 

Wu is a familiar face and a well-regarded leader internally. He currently sits on the Taobao & Tmall Group, Local Service Group, and International Digital Commerce Group board. With him taking over as the CEO, the analyst anticipates that BABA will increasingly lean on technological innovations. 

Finally, Jiang believes that Joe’s takeover as the Chair should help boost investors’ confidence. 

Price Action: BABA shares traded lower by 0.80% at $87.23 on the last check Wednesday.

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