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A Conversation with Alibaba Chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang

Wednesday, May 19, 2021
7:00pm to 8:00pm
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Online Event

President Thomas Rosenbaum will moderate this event featuring Daniel Zhang, whose stated mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere by building the future infrastructure of commerce.


This event was originally scheduled for April 6.

Daniel Zhang is chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, whose stated mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere by building the future infrastructure of commerce. As chief operating officer from 2013 to 2015, he guided the company's transition to a mobile-first ecosystem. He is also a founding member of Alibaba Partnership, a structure adopted in 2010 to help steer Alibaba's strategic direction.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 Taobao Mall and became president when it was rebranded as in 2011.Zhang is the mastermind behind the transformation of Singles' Day, an obscure Chinese holiday, into the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. Launched in 2009, it is now the world's biggest online retail event. He is also the chief architect of the "New Retail" strategy that gave birth to the omnichannel supermarket Freshippo, which allows consumers to use their smartphones to shop from home as well as in stores. In addition, Zhang spearheaded the Alibaba Business Operating System, which supports brands' growth in serving on- and offline consumers through digital transformation.Under Zhang's leadership, Alibaba quickly pivoted its business and operations to address the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The company provided a range of support to small businesses to expedite their recovery, equipped hospitals with AI technology for COVID-19 diagnosis, and collaborated with industry peers such as Salesforce to deliver PPE where it was most needed across the globe.Zhang serves on the board of the social media platform Weibo. He is also a member of the World Economic Forum's International Business Council, and vice co-chair of the board and co-chair of the China board of Consumer Goods Forum. Fortune magazine named him Businessperson of the Year in 2019 and 2020, and TIME magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people of 2020.