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Jack Ma retirement: Jack Ma to step down as Chairman of Alibaba

Jack Ma retirement: Jack Ma, had co-founded Alibaba in 1999 and under his leadership, the company grew up to become one of Asia’s most valuable listed company.

Sep 10, 2019 13:09 IST
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Jack Ma retirement: Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma will step down from his position on September 10, 2019. Jack Ma’s retirement will mark the end of an era for Alibaba and mark a new beginning. Daniel Zhang, Alibaba's CEO, will replace Jack Ma as Executive Chairman of the group.

Jack Ma, had co-founded Alibaba in 1999 and under his leadership, the company grew up to become one of Asia’s most valuable listed company. The current market capitalization of Alibaba is around $460 billion. Jack Ma had announced his decision to retire from the Chairman position in September 2018. He had handpicked Daniel Zhang as his successor. It is rare for a founder of such a big tech firm to retire so early. Jack Ma planned to retire on his 55th birthday. 

Jack Ma

Jack Ma, who began his career as a teacher,  founded Alibaba in his small shared apartment in Hangzhou in 1999 along with a group of 18 founders, whom he convinced to invest in the online marketplace. 

From its headquarters in an apartment, Alibaba grew into an international heavyweight and it is now currently valued at over $ 460 billion. Jack Ma himself enjoys a net worth $38.6bn and is among the world's richest billionaires.

Jack Ma has also been frequently listed by Forbes as one of the world’s most powerful people. Besides, being the co-founder of one of the biggest tech companies, Ma is also known for his flamboyant and charismatic side.

Jack Ma announced his retirement from Alibaba on September 10, 2018 to pursue his other passion, education. He chose Daniel Zhang to succeed him as Chairman. 

As of June 2019, Jack Ma is one of China’s richest men with a net worth of $35.6 billion.

Jack Ma retirement plans 

Jack Ma plans to invest his vast earnings in philanthropy and education. He would also be retaining his seat on Alibaba's board of directors and would continue to mentor the company's management.

Daniel Zhang

Daniel Zhang is very unlike Jack Ma, as he quiet and soft-spoken. Zhang was an accountant by trade.

Jack Ma described Zhang as someone who has the logic and critical thinking skills of a super computer. “Zhang has a commitment to his vision, the courage to wholeheartedly dare to take on innovative business models and industries of the future," added Ma.

One of the key challenges that await Zhang in his new role will be finding new areas of growth as China's e-commerce sector matures.

Alibaba

Alibaba is the world's largest retailer and e-commerce company and one of the largest Internet and AI companies. It is also one of the world’s biggest venture capital firms and investment corporations in the world.

The company hosts the largest online marketplace, Alibaba and Taobao and Tmall marketplaces. The online sales and profits of Alibaba have surpassed all US retailers including Amazon, Walmart and eBay combined since 2015.

Alibaba employs over 100,000 people and has now expanded into financial services, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. It is also expanding into the media industry. 

Recently, Alibaba announced investments worth $2.7 billion in luxury goods retail platform Kaola and a music streaming firm. The move demonstrates the firm’s flexibility in adopting new strategies.

Background

Jack Ma had announced on September 10, 2018 that he will step down as the Chairman of Alibaba in 2019. He had named Alibaba’s CEO Daniel Zhang as his successor and said that he will work closely with Zhang to ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship in the next 12 months.

Jack Ma had however, said that he remain as a director on Alibaba’s board of directors and a permanent member of the Alibaba Partnership.

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