The “key gentlemen” of big companies


Editor’s Note: This article is from the WeChat public account “Yanshi Business Review” (ID: libusiness), author Gao Dongmei, 36氪 authorized to publish.In the Teacher’s Day of 2019, the atmosphere of the West Lake in Hangzhou implied a trace of sadness.Because Ma Yun, who has been claiming to be a rural teacher on this day, wants to “retire”, even though Ali, who was created by him, is only 20 years old, this is only a “juvenile” for the 102-year-old expectation; even though Ma Yun himself is only 54 years old,Compared with many entrepreneurs who are still in their 70s and 80s, they are in their prime.* Figure 1: Ma Yun’s “last sing” Ma Yun himself defined this as “the beginning of an institutional heritage.”Zhang Yong, who succeeded Ma Yun as CEO, is one of the many “key men” of Ali and the leader of the second echelon of the Ali Army.In August 2007, 35-year-old Zhang Yong went south to Hangzhou and became a CFO of Taobao from the CFO of Shanda Network.At the time in Ali, the CFO should be the top executive position with no “wild hope” because he did not believe that Ma Yun of the business school said that “there is no fear of fear, and he is afraid of CFO as CEO”.However, the great thing about the great and great entrepreneurs is that even if they are their own faces, they are also playing.Excellent enterprise development is inseparable from excellent talents. This is a common topic.However, how to get good talents and how to use them is still a flower that can be “played” by many people, or even an art.A few days ago, we sent an article about China Ping An International Talent Strategy. “There are many companies that attach great importance to the introduction of international talents and also introduce a large number of international talents. But in the end, these talents are hard to survive and play in the organization.The author of the “value” is very much recognized, not only international talents, but also the “key man” who mostly airborne to the enterprise.A company is a fertile ground for most talents to develop their strengths and individuals to grow. It is still a desert where life is hard to survive. The key issue lies in the talent mechanism that enterprises have, and this mechanism is the pattern of founders.Determined by the mind and the eye.1 Ali’s earliest “Mr. Key” is Cai Chongxin.As Ali’s “No. 2 Head” and “Invisible Hero” behind Ma Yun, Ali’s presence at every moment of life and death has been Cai Chongxin’s figure.He is so important to Ali’s success that Ma Yun said, “The person I am most grateful to is Cai Chongxin.”If Ali is compared to an Oscar blockbuster, then Ma Yun is the director and Cai Chongxin is the producer.The two men completed the outstanding work of Ali in 20 years with the perfect combination of “fair and empty” and “down-to-earth”.In May of 20 years ago, Ma Yun was looking for investment in the newly established Alibaba.At that time, it was the investment of Investor AB in Sweden, and it was the head of Asia, Cai Chongxin.The two met in Hangzhou for the first time.Unlike many entrepreneurs who have failed many times, Ma Yun was filled with the confidence of “I, Ma Yun, fight money!” when talking about his vision.* Figure 2: Hangzhou has seen a lifetime. Before Cai Chongxin read an article published by the editor-in-chief of the later line, Chris Anderson, published in The Economist, the article begins with the prediction that “the United States has Jeff Bay.”Sos, China has Ma Yun.”This makes Cui Chongxin, who is curious, want to find out what kind of person “Ma Yun” is.Ma Yun, who has failed three times, is so confident that he is deeply surprised.After visiting the office in Ali, “the fact that Ma Yun and a group of followers are in trouble” made him firmly believe that Ma Yun “is an influential leader who has the ability to make a career.”Soon after, Cai Chongxin took his wife and children to Hangzhou and found Ma Yun to join his startup company.Ma Yun was shocked after listening: “You think about it again, you are so high salary, and I only open 500 pieces a month.” But Cai Chongxin, who earns more than a dozen Alibaba at that time, firmlySaid: “I have already thought about it. I just want to join an entrepreneurial company and work with a group of people.” In this way, Cai Chongxin became the first “key man” of Alibaba, and Ma Yun started a soil.One ocean, one positive and one deputy, one moving and one quiet career, together cast a legendary story in the history of Chinese Internet.His key role in Ali is reflected in three aspects, one is to turn the company into a “regular army”; the second is responsible for “finding money”; the third is responsible for “spending money.”When Ali Chongxin first joined, Ali was a “Shuibo Liangshan”. Apart from a group of brothers, it was “a ridiculous”. Not to mention that there were no systems or standards, even the simplest company registration.As the first person in the team with a strong legal and financial background, the impact of Cai Chongxin’s arrival on the Ali team is “quality change”.In the hot summer night in Hangzhou, Cai Chongxin, who had just joined, gathered the employees of Ali to carry out basic equity knowledge training in a sweaty manner. Then he prepared 18 English contracts drafted according to international conventions and standards for the founding “18 Arhats”.The equity and obligations of each individual were clarified, so that the cohesiveness of the founding team was legally guaranteed, and Alibaba began to have the prototype of “company”.After that, Cai Chongxin began work on the life and death of Ali – looking for money.Before Cai Chongxin joined, Ma Yun had failed 38 times before and after. The background of Cai’s overseas venture capital has completely changed this situation.In August 1999, he heard that Goldman Sachs was about to make a tentative investment in the Chinese Internet industry and found a good friend of Goldman Sachs Hong Kong investment manager to persuade Goldman Sachs to invest in Alibaba.In October of that year, Ali received $5 million from Goldman Sachs, which was definitely a huge sum for Ali at the time.But the value behind this fund is even greater, because since then, the little-known startup company Alibaba has endorsed Goldman Sachs, the world’s leading venture capitalist.This will determine Ali’s life and death in the future.In 2000, an Internet bubble caused many “naked swimming” players to fall. Ali was standing because of the strong capital chain. This was because Ma Yun and Sun Zhengyi had a famous “6-minute talk.”The reason why Sun Zhengyi was particularly happy at the time was precisely because of Goldman’s endorsement.In the end, Sun’s investment of 20 million U.S. dollars allowed Ali to survive the most difficult period and laid the foundation for the future outbreak.* Figure 3: The “6-minute talks” of the two “small people” determine the life and death of Ali after the death of 2004. In the crucial year when Ali officially entered the public eye, Taobao and the ebay entering the Chinese market had a difficult problem.battle.Alibaba finally achieved a reversal of God with a “free transaction”. At that time, the daring to burn money came from an investment of $82 million that Cai Chongxin had brought in that year.After this battle, Taobao surpassed eBay and gradually developed into what it is today.In Ali, Cai Chongxin’s nickname is “God of Wealth”, and he spends money in addition to pulling money.Over the years, Ali Investment has covered a wide range of new retail, e-commerce, logistics, artificial intelligence, corporate services, including angels to VC/PE and even listed companies, becoming one of the “super buyers” in the venture capital circle.It is the strategic investment department of Ali led by Cai Chongxin to operate these investments.Cai Chongxin set three basic principles for Ali Investment: one is to buy users and traffic, such as investing in UC and Sina Weibo; the other is to obtain big data, such as investing in Gaode, Youmeng, Sina Weibo; third, to obtain social relationships,Such as Sina Weibo, Mo Mo.Among these investments, Cai Chongxin’s emphasis on equity has been throughout.When the money is pulled, the company obtains space for the minimum shareholding promise, and when investing, it must occupy more equity to obtain absolute control. This is the style of Ali investment.However, this style will inevitably “reward hate” for Ali.In 2015, Ali withdrew from the US group investment, the root of Ma Yun and Wang Xing’s troubles lies in its strong investment style.Wang Xing was not willing to become Ali’s diversion tool after the US group was acquired.Hungry is also an example. After investing about $1.65 billion in 2016 and 2017, Ali became the controlling shareholder.The heart is unwilling to be hungry. The founder Zhang Xuhao said an intriguing statement: “Although Ali has a strong side, it is actually good. You said that it really wants to control this company? Control is not controlled, it is actually you do it.Well, if you are not doing well, it is a fate. “The strong principle that Ali Investment has always insisted on has never changed. This is behind Ma Yun’s absolute trust in Cai Chongxin, and Cai Chongxin has not lived up to this trust.Under his leadership, the Ali Empire is growing larger and investing in various industries.As a behind-the-scenes operator, most of the time he will enter the company’s board of directors after reaching control to establish long-term strategic value for Ali.Ma Yun’s feelings for Cai Chongxin are not ordinary working partners.In Ali’s partner system, only two permanent partners are Ma Yun and Cai Chongxin.Ma Yun said: I am especially grassroots, and he is professionally trained and well-trained, disciplined and very intelligent.People like him can’t be cultivated inside the company, they can only be found outside the company.In June 1999, when Cai Chongxin helped Ma Yun to register with the company, he found that Ma Yun listed a long list of founders. At that moment, he was impressed by his heart: From the first day, Ma Yun’s heart was open and shared with others.He gave a large part of the company’s equity to the entrepreneurial team.This is the unique Ma Yun, not found anywhere else.The deeper influence of Cai Chongxin’s participation in Ali is that he gave a demonstration to outstanding talents: Ali is a company that can accommodate “internationalized” talents.And his strong personal relationship has also dig a lot of important talents for Ali, Zhang Yong who took over Ma Yun is what he found.In Ali’s internal circulation: When Ma Yun made a major decision, Cai Chongxin said that he could do it, and he would let go, because Cai’s approval shows that this risk is worthwhile and can be lost.In addition to Cai Chongxin’s “God of Wealth”, Ali’s other key gentleman is Guan Mingsheng, who is “toned” for Ali.At the end of 2000, due to the premature rapid expansion, Ali’s operation was in chaos, and Cai Chongxin dug up Guan Mingsheng from GE as COO.One day in January 2001, Peng Lei, Cai Chongxin and others gathered in Guan Mingsheng’s office to listen to Ma Yun’s endless stream.Guan Mingsheng asked Ma Yun, “Ali has so many good ideas, have you written it down?” It is said that Ma Yun paused for 1 minute without speaking, and then said, “You are right, we never wrote it down.”Therefore, Guan Mingsheng suggested that it should be written in three directions: goal, mission and values.The mission is very clear. Ma Yun said that since the first day of its establishment, Alibaba has determined the mission of “making the world a difficult business”, while the vision and values ​​are “eighty, ten, one” and “eighty”To be a company that has been developing for 80 years, “Ten” is one of the top ten websites in the world. “One” means that as long as it is a businessman, you must use Alibaba.Guan Mingsheng thinks that Ma Yun’s sentence is very remarkable. He has to understand how long, how high, and how far he wants to do, and the target customers are also sure.Later, Ma Yun could use Alien’s shortest time to span three centuries and change the company’s life expectancy to 102 years. Therefore, Ali’s vision became “a company that has been developing for 102 years.”After that, Guan Mingsheng asked questions again. On the same day, everyone discussed it for nearly 7 hours, and finally summarized 9 articles.Because Ma Yun and Guan Mingsheng are Jin Yong fans, they are named as “Duo Gu Jiu Jian” – “passion, innovation, teaching and learning, openness, simplicity, teamwork, focus, quality, service and respect”. This is the first version of Ali.Values.In the following 18 years, Ali’s values ​​have been upgraded from “Duojiujian” to “Six-Sword Excalibur”, and then to the “New Six-Sword Excalibur” updated by Ma Yun on the day of retiring, the content is closely changing with the times, and Ali is alsoBecome a typical value-driven company.After 20 years of continuous layout, Ali is now a huge global technology giant.In this process, Cai Chongxin, Guan Mingsheng and other “Mr. Keys” took on important responsibilities and played an extraordinary role.There are many similar “Mr. Keys”, such as Zhang Yong, Jiang Fan and so on.Under the influence and inspiration of Ma Yun, they joined Ali and achieved excellence in their own business areas. In the process, individuals also achieved unprecedented growth.The premise of all this being achieved is the pattern and mind of the founder Ma Yun, who is willing to let go, and the organizational talent development mechanism characterized by trust, openness and communication established under the influence of this founder character.2 As a leader among Chinese Internet companies, Tencent’s success in many fields is obvious to all.On the way of its gradual development and growth, in addition to being the founder of the Tencent Five Tigers, there are also a lot of people who have been half-way to join the “Mr. Key” help, and finally established the Tencent Empire.The two most important of these are Liu Chiping and Zhang Xiaolong. It can be said that without them, there will be no Tencent.Now in Tencent, Ma Huateng is responsible for “far-sightedness” and Liu Chiping is responsible for deploying the company’s strategy and daily operations.Unlike Alibaba’s high-profile and unrestrained, Ma Huateng is a typical Cantonese businessman, and he is cautious and has a low exposure in public.Liu Chiping was a high-level student who won a master’s degree from three Ivy League universities in the United States at the age of 25. After graduation, he worked as a management consultant and chief operating officer in McKinsey and Goldman Sachs, specializing in corporate strategic planning and execution.* Figure 5: “Li Bei and Zhuge Kongming” in the Chinese Internet community are also legendary combinations in the Chinese Internet field.The relationship between two people with completely different backgrounds began in Tencent’s initial public offering in 2003.Tencent, which was established only five years ago, has thousands of employees. Because QQ information service is famous, its annual revenue is 735 million yuan. However, due to the impact of the Internet bubble, many early investors are worried about the company’s prospects and even sold their hands.Tencent shares held.Tencent, which is eager to raise funds, found Goldman Sachs, a prestigious company at the time. Liu Chiping, a senior executive of the Asian Investment Banking Department at Goldman Sachs Group, led the team to take charge of their initial public offering.In this process, Liu Chiping’s extraordinary financing and strategic operational capabilities left a deep impression on the Tencent executive team.After the first deal, Ma Huateng was surprised to find a friend in addition to his feelings about Liu Chiping’s Mandarin.Liu Chiping’s sharp insight into Tencent’s revenue-dependent mobile Monternet coincides with Ma Huateng, and his distinctive conservative valuation proposal also made Ma Huateng shine.Considering that Tencent’s founding team is a computer technology company and lacks an international vision management, it needs someone to build a sustainable corporate business strategy and find more strategic talents. Ma Huateng intends to dig Liu Chiping, so he is accompanying Tencent.On the planes of the world’s roadshows, executives Liu Chiping received Tencent’s olive branch.At this time, Liu Chiping, who has slowly fallen in love with this founding team, is very excited.However, due to the relationship between the two parties during the IPO, he did not immediately agree.After successfully listing in Hong Kong in June 2004, Tencent showed great potential in the game business. When the revenue at the end of the year increased by 55%, Ma Huateng again invited Liu Chiping to join.So after the Spring Festival in 2005, Liu Chiping gave up Goldman Sachs to join Tencent.At this time, Tencent is facing the most difficult direction choice in the past six years.Because of the cooperation between Mobile and Monternet to launch mobile QQ SMS value-added services, Tencent became the first profitable Internet company in Chinese history.However, with the policy escalation of the country’s rectification of industry chaos, Tencent’s important source of income has been seriously affected, and its share price has been falling.Business expansion is also not smooth: due to domestic bandwidth restrictions, the game is ridiculed because of Caton; the most advantageous QQ faces peers; and the plan to be a virtual telecom operator is also shattered by a paper.Ma Huateng is caught in the anxiety of internal and external troubles and where to go.At this time, Liu Chiping’s participation is like sending charcoal in the snow.He asked Ma Huateng for the status of a “chief strategic investment officer”. “Manage three things that have no management, one is strategy, the other is mergers and acquisitions, and the third is investor relations.”In order to stabilize the stock price, he went to Hong Kong to appease institutional investors while advocating Tencent to buy back shares.According to his suggestion, Tencent implemented two large-scale repurchases in the same year to show confidence to investors.At the same time, he also implemented a number of acquisition plans, including Foxmail, which was founded by Zhang Xiaolong, who later hatched WeChat.In the company, Liu Chiping developed an annual income plan, laid out social networks, and expanded the revenue of QQ space, personal dress, pat and Tencent media. In 2005, it became the turning point of Tencent in the media.During this period, Liu Chiping was Zhuge Liang of Ma Huateng. He often accompanied Ma Huateng to explore Chinese and Western issues on the company’s problems. He often said that he was listening. At that time, he was not very familiar with many strategic concepts, but heHave a good sense of insight, often can give the opposite and directly reach the core of the problem.” In early 2006, Liu Chiping submitted a “5-year business plan”, proactively proposed a user-centric strategy around user resources and user assets.Expansion, and set a target of 10 billion yuan in annual revenue for the next five years.So Ma Huateng appointed him as the company’s president, responsible for the company’s daily operations.In the next five years, Tencent will make a new layout based on the four major sections of online life services—portal, online games, search, and e-commerce. It will continue to expand and expand its business scope through independent R&D and acquisition.With the goal of improving execution, Liu Chiping has made drastic changes to the organizational structure. At the same time, he has injected the management standards of American companies into setting up revenue targets, strict assessment, and positive incentives.Under the combined effect of correct strategy and efficient execution, Tencent has ushered in rapid growth in successive years. In 2009, its total revenue exceeded RMB 12.4 billion, and its five-year plan was completed one year ahead of schedule.Then followed by Liu Chiping, he ushered in the challenge of how to “recognize” Tencent.In 2010, Tencent, which was widely criticized because of the cottage, suffered a 3Q war. Tencent, which won the law but lost public opinion, fell into deep reflection. It invited 72 Internet experts to take 10 closed-door meetings and internal discussions for Tencent..Liu Chiping, who has always been low-key and cautious, has slammed all of Tencent’s closed developments: “It may be doing well at the beginning, but as users’ needs become more diverse and personalized, it’s hard for a company toAll services are taken care of.” * Figure 6: Tencent won the law in the 3Q war but lost the public opinion. In the internal discussion about Tencent’s core openness, Liu Chiping’s “opening up with capital” was supported.In 2013, under his leadership, Tencent divested its failure in the search and e-commerce sector, and instead invested in Jingdong, 58 City, Sogou, and Public Comment Network.Tencent’s acquisition transaction has changed from a wholly-owned acquisition or holding to a modest shareholding. This change from “do it yourself” to letting go to partners has made Tencent today.At that time, Liu Chiping led a series of capital actions to open up a new space for Tencent, extending its reach to new retail, artificial intelligence, medical health, finance, culture, travel, education and other fields, and even easily explored foreign countries.Tencent’s international layout focuses on games and socializing. Liu Chiping, who has an international investment bank background, is undoubtedly the most ideal action pioneer. He took the role of Tencent as the world’s largest game company and acquired the potential of Snapchat and Supercell.The company has made plans and arrangements for the future development of Tencent.Tencent’s other “Mr. Key” Zhang Xiaolong opened up a second curve for Tencent’s business growth.A late night at the end of 2010, Zhang Xiaolong, the founder of Foxmail acquired by Tencent, sent a message to Ma Huateng asking if he would develop a social network for smart phones. Ma Huateng agreed.Later, Zhang Xiaolong and his 10 colleagues developed WeChat.With the surge in sales of smartphones in China, WeChat officially went online in 2011. In 2012, users reached 100 million. After one year, the number of users has tripled.Drawing on the experience of QQ growth, Tencent allows companies to set up “official accounts” to disseminate information and interact with users, and the network effect is further developed.Today, Tencent’s products and services penetrate into every aspect of people’s daily lives. WeChat has nearly 1 billion monthly users. Chinese users spend 1.7 billion hours on Tencent’s App every day, which is far more than all other apps they spend.On the time.The average time spent by each user on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter per day is only one hour.* Figure 7: Separate work and sing together With the continuous development of various businesses, Tencent began to play the role of a global technology leader, and its stock price has been rising.On November 21, 2017, Tencent’s market value reached an all-time high, approaching HK$440, with a market capitalization of more than 4 trillion, or about US$528.8 billion, making it the fifth largest company by market value worldwide.In addition to Liu Chiping and Zhang Xiaolong, Tencent also has many “key men” such as Ren Yuzhen, Tang Daosheng, Liu Shengyi, etc., both internally promoted and externally absorbed. Everyone has made a good contribution within the scope of their own jurisdiction.Achievements.These people can gather in Tencent and are willing to stay in Tencent for a long time, which is inseparable from the freedom and trust that Ma Huateng can give them.It is said that in Tencent, Liu Chiping and Zhang Xiaolong’s wages are higher than those of Ma Huateng.Ma Huateng once said that if he had to choose a successor for himself, he chose Liu Chiping.Ma Huateng’s courtesy of Zhang Xiaolong is also a story of the Internet. These are the reasons why those who are fully capable of setting up a mountain are willing to shine on Tencent’s big stage.3About the story of “Mr. Key”, we can still talk a lot, but what is more worthy of attention is that there are many “Mr. Key” companies that are developing smoothly. In the old Internet top three BAT, Ali and Tencent are “key”.”Mr.” is doing a good job in talent management and motivation for the main line, so the company is developing fast, and constantly breaks through one step after another, and successfully ranks among the world’s leading technology giants.In contrast, Baidu, the talents are constantly losing, first the “Prince” Li Mingyuan’s resignation, followed by the short-lived Li called the beast, and then the heavy money invited Lu Qi’s resignation, and then the old minister to Hailong’s dismissal, each “key Mr.”The huge earthquakes caused by the departures have been going on for a long time, and the company’s business will be shocked. This is also an important reason why Baidu has gone from bad to worse in recent years.It can be said that creating a company may be enough for one person, but developing a company requires a lot of people to work together, and creating a super company requires a lot of good people to work together and have a complete layout.Among all the companies that have achieved great success, whether it is Ali or Tencent, or a rising star of Internet companies like the US Mission, it is not the only founder or CEO who can do it today.The absorption and encouragement of excellent and even outstanding talents, let them exert their maximum value is the most critical factor for the success of these outstanding enterprises, and it is also the most test of entrepreneurs, founders and minds..