Daniel Zhang

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Daniel Zhang
Native name
Born (1972-01-11) January 11, 1972 (age 47)
NationalityPeople's Republic of China
Alma materShanghai University of Finance and Economics
EmployerAlibaba Group
PredecessorJonathan Lu

Daniel Zhang or Zhang Yong (simplified Chinese: 张勇; traditional Chinese: 張勇; pinyin: Zhāng Yǒng) is the CEO of Alibaba Group.[1] Before becoming the CEO, Zhang was best known for his roles as CEO of Taobao[2] and president of Tmall (owned by Alibaba). While running Tmall, Zhang created the Singles' Day shopping holiday, an annual Chinese sales event with gross sales three times higher than Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.[3] [4]

Early life and education[edit]

Zhang was born in Shanghai in 1972. He studied finance at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.[3]


Zhang first joined Taobao (an Alibaba subsidiary) in 2007 as its Chief Financial Officer. The following year he became the Chief Operating Officer of Taobao. In 2011, Zhang was promoted to President of Tmall, a business-to-consumer shopping spinoff from Taobao. It was during his time running Tmall that Zhang launched the Single's Day shopping event.

In 2013, Zhang was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of Alibaba Group, and eventually succeeded Jonathan Lu as the CEO in 2015.[2] On September 10, 2018, Jack Ma announced that Zhang would also take over as executive chairman, effective in 1 year on September 10, 2019.[5]

Alibaba employees pick nicknames for themselves when they first join the company. Daniel Zhang's nickname is "Free and Unfettered Person" (Chinese: 逍遥子; pinyin: Xiāoyáo Zi).[6]


  1. ^ "Alibaba Group". www.alibabagroup.com. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  2. ^ a b Flannery, Russell. "Who Is Alibaba's New CEO?". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-02.
  3. ^ a b Harjani, Ansuya (2015-05-07). "Why investors are giving Alibaba's new CEO thumbs up". CNBC. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  4. ^ "Singles' Day Celebrates China's Most Prized Demographic: The Unattached". Observer. 2017-01-05. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  5. ^ Choudhury, Saheli. "Alibaba announces Jack Ma succession plan: CEO Daniel Zhang to take over as chairman in a year". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  6. ^ Shao, Heng. "A Peek Inside Alibaba's Corporate Culture". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-02.