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Jack Ma sends longest memo to Alibaba employees in 5 years

Jordan Hart   

Jack Ma sends longest memo to Alibaba employees in 5 years
  • Jack Ma has some words of encouragement for Alibaba Group employees.
  • In a roughly page-long memo, he addressed the company's shortcomings, Reuters reported.

Alibaba employees received a rare memo from cofounder Jack Ma, and the message was motivational.

Ma spent years out of the public eye but resurfaced with some appearances and quiet business moves in 2023. His most recent venture into the spotlight is a long message shared to employees on an internal Alibaba forum, Reuters reported.

He acknowledged Alibaba's past mistakes, but the former CEO had kind words for the new chief executive Eddie Wu and Chairman Joe Tsai.

"This year, amid the many doubts and pressures on the company internally and externally, I saw the birth of a strong and brave Alibaba team," Ma said in the memo viewed by Reuters, which reported it was the longest from Ma sent in five years.

It has been a tough year for his company, which announced a big shake-up in March 2023 that entailed Alibaba Group dividing into six new groups. The company appointed Wu CEO months later.

Although Ma reportedly praised the restructuring in his page-long memo, he still encouraged Alibaba to right issues from the past.

Since 2021, the company has dealt with scrutiny from the Chinese government, a $2.8 billion antitrust fine, and successful rivals in e-commerce. Around the same time, Ma began to retreat from the public eye.

"We must not only have the courage to admit and correct yesterday's problems in a timely manner but also make reforms for the future," he said, according to Reuters.

Over the past three years, Alibaba has faced fierce competition in the Chinese e-commerce space. Ma congratulated PDD Holdings — Temu's parent company — in a previous memo to employees one day before the company surpassed Alibaba in market value.

Ma once had plans to sell his shares in Alibaba, but reversed them when he began buying more in Q4 of 2023. He spent an estimated $50 million Alibaba shares, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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