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Alibaba Group’s founder & executive chairman Jack Ma retires

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Alibaba Group‘s founder and chairman Jack Ma has retired from Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd, the company he founded 20 years ago.

Ma will continue his role as the founding partner in the Alibaba Partnership and contribute to the growth of the company.

Ma, on Tuesday with a gala celebration in Hangzhou, highlighted the firm’s journey from the firm’s early days in a small apartment into the $447 billion global ecommerce behemoth it is today.

Ma will be replaced by CEO Daniel Zhang who has been prepared to take over since the firm announced Ma’s retirement last year. In an admired “legacy of succession,” to ensure a flawless transition, Ma announced the development a year ago to give customers, employees and shareholders confidence in the growth and sustainability of the company, long before he is gone.

Daniel Zhang joined Alibaba Group in 2007 and was named chief executive officer in May 2015

Last year, Alibaba Group announced that Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang would succeed Jack Ma as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group. Mr. Ma will continue as executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship to Mr. Zhang.

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Mr. Ma will complete his current term as a member of Alibaba Group’s board of directors until its annual general meeting of shareholders in 2020.

Mr. Ma is a lifetime partner in the Alibaba Partnership and is a member of its partnership committee. The Alibaba Partnership is currently comprised of 36 partners who are also members of senior management of Alibaba Group or its affiliates. Pursuant to the articles of association of Alibaba Group, the Alibaba Partnership has the right to nominate a majority of the directors to the board of the company.

Mr. Ma, in a letter last year promised to work closely with Daniel to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Thereafter, Ma will stay on the Alibaba board of directors until its annual shareholders meeting in 2020.

Founded in 1999, Alibaba aims to last more than 102 years and for sustainability its build on sound governance, culture-centric philosophy, and consistency in developing talent.

“No company can rely solely on its founders. Of all people, I should know that. Because of physical limits on one’s ability and energy, no one can shoulder the responsibilities of chairman and CEO forever,” Mr. Ma said.

Daniel Zhang has been with Alibaba Group for 11 years. Since he took over as CEO, he has demonstrated his superb talent, business acumen and determined leadership. Under his stewardship, Alibaba has seen consistent and sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters.

His analytical mind is unparalleled, he holds dear our mission and vision, he embraces the responsibility with passion, and he has the guts to innovate and test creative business models.


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Vilcap, AMI launch NextGen Ecosystem Builders for startup talent in Africa

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Village Capital (Vilcap) and African Management Institute, with support from the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF), have launched NextGen Ecosystem Builders Africa 2020 to support the growth of talent in accelerators and incubators in Africa.

Vilcap and African Management Institute, say the management development program, open for applications here includes training on both technical skills and soft skills for participating mid-level team members within entrepreneur support organisations in Africa.

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Africa’s startup ecosystems have experienced incredible growth in recent years, driven in part by the rise of entrepreneur support organisations (ESOs) which encompass coworking spaces, accelerators, incubators, business advisory firms, markerspaces/fablabs and tech hubs. The number of active Tech Hubs has tripled from 200 in 2015 to more than 600 in 2019.

These organisations are critical to the success of Africa’s burgeoning entrepreneurship sector, providing entrepreneurs with business training, access to markets, networks and mentors, financial and social capital, and in-kind support. They are key to unlocking the pipeline of early-stage innovation in Africa, and driving investment and job creation across the continent.

However, these ESOs face their own barriers to sustainability and growth. As highlighted in Village Capital’s 2019 report Unlocking Pipeline, these barriers include talent attraction and retention, the ability to absorb increasing amounts of capital from donors, impact measurement, efficiency and productivity of internal operations, and time/budget to develop, test and enhance products and services. 

All of these challenges can be overcome through the vision and execution of a strong team, especially the mid-level managers who lead programs or departments and are responsible for the successful implementation of services/programs for entrepreneurs. These mid-level team members with the strategic guidance of strong leadership are the key to delivering exceptional outcomes at the organisational level. 

Currently, overstretched budgets and intense program schedules leave very little time to provide these critical team members with skill enhancement and professional development to overcome these barriers and deliver better outcomes to the entrepreneurs and enterprises they serve. 

Village Capital and African Management Institute, with support from the Dutch Good Growth Fund, have launched a management training program for the next generation of talent within entrepreneur support organisations in Africa. 

Apply here.


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Jumia Kenya appoints new CCO to drive commercial success

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Jumia Kenya has appointed Kenneth Oyolla as its Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) to drive commercial success as the firm eyes new revenue streams.

Oyolla joins Jumia from IPS Group Limited where he previously held the same position. He brings a wealth of experience from the industry, having held senior Commercial and Management positions across Unilever, Nokia, Microsoft and Multichoice.

He has vast knowledge in Brand and Marketing Management, Brand and Sales Management, Product Marketing, Customer Marketing, Global Business Development, and E-commerce Sales Management

He will be tasked to grow the company’s position as the leading e-commerce marketplace in Kenya, drive commercial success of the company and shape its strategic plan for growth.

Kenneth holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Nairobi and is an alumni of London Business School.  He is an accomplished leader with deep operational and leadership experience gained across multiple geographies globally.

Prior to joining Jumia, Kenneth has held various roles as a startup entrepreneur and in general management roles in the software and broadcast media as well as manufacturing industries with Multichoice and Industrial Promotion Services.

Kenneth takes over from Diana Owusu-Kyereko, who, after nearly 3 years as part of the Jumia Kenya family, will be taking on the role of CEO for Jumia Ghana.

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Jumia recently sold its Africa travel business to TravelStart, a Cape Town-based online travel agency. The firm also shut down its operations in Rwanda, its third African market.

TravelStart will power Jumia Travel’s pan-African online travel booking portal and will take control of the sales, fulfilment and customer service aspects of Jumia Travel online booking websites in all its operating territories.


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Huawei sold 6.9 million 5G devices in 2019 taking 53.9% of 5G market

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Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG) yesterday announced that. It has shipped 6.9 million units of 5G smartphones as of December 2019. This is in addition to offering end-to-end 5G solutions.

The strong sales reflect Huawei’s relentless commitment to 5G R&D and reinforce Huawei’s leadership in 5G technology. Despite the China-US trade wars that saw Huawei engulfed at the centre of the rift, Huawei managed to surpass the milestone.

The figure reflects 53.9 per cent sales which over half of the global 5G marketplace.

ReadHuawei Mate 30 Pro 5G Now Available in the United Arab Emirates

Samsung and Huawei have for long had a battle of market superiority in 5G space. Huawei sells 6 devices with 5G under its own brand. The devices include the  Mate 20 X 5G, Mate 30 5G, Mate 30 Pro 5G, Mate 30 RS Porsche Design, nova 6 5G, the foldable Mate X. There are two more under the subsidiary brand Honor – the V30 and the V30 Pro.

Weibo post claims that the latter two devices managed to win the title for the “Best Selling Phone on JD.com and Tmall” in its price category.

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Speculations around the win suggest that Samsung achieved its sales across the world, including the United States. while Huawei accomplished in 2019 were from its domestic market where its Korean competitor is practically absent.

There are some countries with 5G networks that sell phones by the Chinese company, like the United Arab Emirates, but their contribution to the milestone is minuscule, given the size of the market.

According to Egypt Today’s post. Huawei is an industry leader that offers the full spectrum of 5G technologies, including 5G infrastructure technology. It also offers 5G network equipment which includes base stations, core networks, optical networks and mmWave-enabled technology.  Other include 5G chipsets and 5G end-user devices which makes it top of the 5G market.

Huawei 2020 speculations

Heading into 2020. Huawei’s 5G devices and infrastructure are giving consumers than ever the ability to connect with the world through 5G. They expect to ship more devices in the new year.


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