Joseph Tsai is the cofounder and vice chairman of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba. Tsai is said to be the driving force behind all of the Alibaba’s acquisitions, market penetration strategies and growth. Yale educated Tsai also worked as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP before Jack Ma offered him to join hands to make Alibaba the biggest ecommerce company in China. Tsai was also leading the talks with Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) in 2011 after Alibaba and Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) got into an internal conflict regarding Alipay, Alibaba’s payment system. In a program on Bloomberg, Greycroft Partners Venture Partner, Bo Peabody, and Bloomberg’s Leslie Picker discussed the career of Joseph Tsai. Picker said that Jack Ma offered Tsai a mere $50 a month salary in the starting days of the company, which Tsai accepted.
“[…] He is the vice chairman of Alibaba which means that he is the one behind all of the legal structures that we have seen put in place in this company, he is the one behind their partnership structure. He is the one who also handles a lot of their acquisitions and strategic investments […],” said Picker.
Bo Peabody said that the combination of Jack Ma and Joseph Tsai is perfect for Alibaba’s growth because Tsai is the implementer of the visions and dreams of Jack Ma and both of them have the ability to get things done professionally.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has a $26 billion stake in Alibaba, which means that Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) can expect a potential growth in the efforts and charismatic leadership skills of Joseph Tsai. In 2012, Tsai also led the deal to repurchase some of Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO)’s shares in Alibaba, which were valued at $7.6 billion in 2012.
Ken Griffin is one of the biggest shareholders of Yahoo, having approximately eight million shares of the company.