Ma Yun, a teacher, announced his retirement plan on Sept. 10, but left some time for himself and Ali to sit on the board until next year and today before handing over the reins to current CEO Zhang Yong.
Is Ali ready for retirement?
Company succession is becoming a major problem faced by a large number of private enterprises in China, from Liu Chuanzhi, Zhang Chaoyang to Huangzhang and other people before the comeback shows that shift is not an easy thing.
"I thought I would retire at the age of 45, but I didn't expect to be 45 years old." This is not the first time Ma Yun has proposed retirement. In fact, he has disclosed to the outside world many years ago that he hopes to retire at the age of 45. At that time, the scale of Alibaba was initially established, but then it met with Wei Zhe incident, counterfeit goods storm, Alipay incident and Taobao mall "besieged in October". A series of Ali problems made Ma Yun have to deal with them one by one. He also admitted that these events made him tired.
In 2013, Ali broke up again on the basis of the original seven business groups, and the whole Ali was divided into 25 business units, managed by different business directors.
The seemingly fragmented business structure was a deliberate decentralization of power by Ma Yun. Since then, Ali has formed a three-tiered power system: the Strategic Decision-Making Committee (chaired by the board of directors), the Executive Committee on Strategic Management (chaired by the CEO) and the Business Department. The result is that the lines of business become clearer, which is conducive to the growth of each business sector. Ma Yun can also get away from the heavy routine, while leaving more room for people to rise.
Ali also established a variety of training systems, such as successor training program and partnership system, but also proposed to complete by 2019 to adjust and improve the VIE structure, the core content of the adjustment is to reduce the personal control of Ma Yun and Xie Shihuang, Alibaba partners and executives collective control, the purpose of the regulation. Avoid "key human risk". In fact, Ma Yun in recent years has been engaged in business work, more focused on Ali strategy control.
All these show that Ma Yun's retirement is not a whim, Ali left Ma Yun will still be normal operation, but this does not mean that the successor must be another Ma Yun. As you can see, in the years that Ma Yun took control of the company's direction, Ali's business grew exponentially, while also completing privatization and listing in the United States as a whole. Later, the concept of "new retail" was changed and promoted the development direction of the former electricity supplier field.
But like Jobs and Cook, the founder's role in the company is hard to replace.
Professional managers can use business theory and logic to solve the business problems faced by the company, but the idea of the founder in the long-term future of the company and the rapid promotion of enterprise change, will show greater advantages. At the same time, technology companies are more likely to face technological changes and market changes than traditional companies, requiring sustained innovation to drive development. Predictably, Zhang Yong will face greater challenges and pressure from outside public opinion when he takes over next year.
In recent years, Ma Yun has felt tremendous pressure from public opinion, and the halo of the most prominent entrepreneurs has made him more cautious. For Ma Yun, unloading the burden may relieve him, but for Ali's future, the recent stock price fluctuations can be seen to be quite complex. Some media associate Ma Yun's retirement time with the current economic environment and the group of Chinese private entrepreneurs. This interpretation also reflects Ma Yun's pressure from the side.
In the book "runaway", Kevin? Kelly wrote, "Under the window of my office, the hive quietly lets busy bees in and out. In the summer afternoon, the sun reflected the beehives through the trees. The bees in the sun, like arc-shaped tracer bullets, buzz into the dark hole.
In his honeycomb mindset, the future corporate form will evolve, decentralize, distribute, strengthen cooperation, adapt to change, until thoroughly networked. The ultimate corporate form will become the same as living organisms, seamlessly integrated into the ecosphere as part of it.
Ali tried to turn into a hive, but queen bee was no longer Ma Yun. (author is commentator of times weekly)
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