“Ma will continue as the executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition to Zhang,” a statement from Alibaba said.
Zhang, who was earlier the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Taobao, an online shopping portal owned by the Alibaba Group, was appointed the CEO of the Alibaba Group in 2015.
The co-founder of the company, Ma, will however, remain as a board member of the Alibaba Group until the annual shareholder meet in 2020.
“Ma is a lifetime partner in the Alibaba Partnership and is a member of its partnership committee,” the statement added.
The Alibaba Partnership has 36 partners, who are the senior management of Alibaba Group or its affiliates.
Founded in 1999 by Chinese teacher-turned-entrepreneur Jack Ma as a platform to connect Chinese manufacturers with the world, Hangzhou-based Alibaba stands among one of the largest companies in the world.
Apart from its online shopping portals, Alibaba also offers electronic payment services and cloud computing services.