a class of 32 young foreign employees in leadership is another sign of
Alibaba Group’s ambitious strategy for overseas expansion.
The students, from 14 nations, are set to spend a year at the Alibaba
Global Leadership Academy at company headquarters in Hangzhou. There,
they will engage in hands-on leadership training, cultural immersion and
industry tours, and serve rotational assignments in different business
units. The first class began in October.
It is a gateway to "building trust and mutual understanding for a
meaningful global impact", according to company Chairman Jack Ma.
Alibaba has set an ambitious goal of serving 2 billion customers
globally and having 40 percent of its sales from overseas in the coming
They graduated from leading universities like Harvard, Yale, Oxford and
Cambridge, and were selected based on stringent criteria like learning
ability, strategic and innovative thinking, and cultural fit for the
Gary Topp, a 31-year-old MBA graduate from the University of Chicago,
said the combination of the education and the chance to work in one of
China’s most exciting companies makes for an attractive experience.
French associate Isabelle Kam said, "The program, which includes
teaching Chinese history, economics and politics, makes me better
understand Chinese culture and the market, and I get to feel the social
impact of Alibaba." Kam said she expects to be sent to Paris after
finishing the program.