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Michael Zeisser has left as Alibaba’s top U.S. dealmaker

Zeisser disagreed with Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai over investment strategy, sources familiar with the situation said.

Alibaba co-founder and Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai, left, with Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan
Joe Tsai (left) is the co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba.
Marianna Massey / Getty

Michael Zeisser, Alibaba’s top dealmaker in Silicon Valley, quietly left the Chinese giant recently.

Joe Tsai, Alibaba’s co-founder and executive vice chairman, announced the departure in an internal memo to staff over the weekend. Tsai and Zeisser disagreed over investment strategy, one source familiar with the situation said.

Zeisser did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Zeisser, who has been chairman of U.S. investments there since 2013, is expected to be replaced by another Alibaba hand, Peter Stern, who is likely to replace Zeisser as board observer at Magic Leap and Lyft.

Zeisser came to Alibaba after a decade under John Malone at Liberty Media. Zeisser helped establish Alibaba’s prominence in U.S. investing through other deals like Fanatics and Snapchat.

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