Robert H. Christie
+1 917 860 9410
Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) has launched the Alibaba Global Leadership Academy (AGLA), an innovative, 10-year program, to enhance its global workforce capabilities. The inaugural class of 32 young professionals represents 14 countries. They will spend one year at Alibaba's headquarters in Hangzhou, China, where they will engage in experiential leadership training, cultural immersion, industry learning tours, and serve rotational assignments in various business units.
After one year in Hangzhou, the AGLA participants will return to work in the company's offices outside China. Current office locations include the U.S., U.K., Europe, India and Southeast Asia. The company has plans to increase the class size to 102 participants annually.
"The world is more connected than ever before. People who can work across cultures and languages represent the future," said Jack Ma, Alibaba Executive Chairman. "We know that for Alibaba to have a meaningful global impact, we have to be able to understand other cultures, respect other cultures and appreciate other cultures. The AGLA is one way we are building that trust and mutual understanding."
"Our new AGLA program will help us build a strong foundation for our future international footprint," added Brian Wong, Alibaba Vice President and Executive Director of AGLA. "This program is designed to provide a grounding in the cultural and industry context of Alibaba to enable our future global leaders to effectively collaborate in China and across borders. At the same time, we intend to strengthen our headquarters' global capabilities through the interactions and contributions of our AGLA participants in China. It is a reflection of our commitment to bringing closer the many cultures that make up the Alibaba family and strengthening the ability to operate all around the world."
More than 3,000 candidates applied for opportunity but only one percent of applicants were selected for a spot in the inaugural class. They were screened based on a criteria of learning ability, strategic and innovative thinking, as well as cultural fit for the company. They hold post-secondary degrees from some of the world's most prestigious universities, including Harvard, Yale, Wharton, Oxford, Cambridge, Singapore University and Indian Institute of Technology.
Aside from on-the-job training at their new company, they will be given a deep dive into the unique internet and ecommerce business climate rapidly developing in China. They will shop and pay for their purchases online. And they will also learn about China's history, arts and trading prowess – experiencing the modern Belt and Road initiative of today's government and visiting the ancient Silk Road of China's storied past. Chinese language was not a requirement for selection and half the class has no Mandarin skills.
Workforce development initiatives are an integral part of Alibaba's globalization efforts. The company has a stated goal to serve two billion consumers and tens of millions of merchants. Alibaba has accelerated its efforts in the past year to grow its business outside China, opening offices in Italy, France, Germany, India, the U.K. and the Netherlands, with a new office in Australia planned to be added by the end of the year. In Southeast Asia, the company also acquired a controlling stake in ecommerce business Lazada, based in Singapore and operating in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.
About Alibaba Group
Alibaba Group's mission is to make it easy to do business anywhere. The company aims to build the future infrastructure of commerce. It envisions that its customers will meet, work and live at Alibaba, and that it will be a company that lasts at least 102 years.
Robert H. Christie
+1 917 860 9410