Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Alibaba's Jack Ma to step down in a year

Alibaba's Jack Ma to step down in a year

Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma, 53, announced Friday he's retiring from the e-commerce giant, according to The New York Times.

Ma will step down in exactly one year on Sep 10, 2019, and current Alibaba Chief Executive Daniel Zhang will replace him as chairman.

Over the course of his tenure at Alibaba, Ma became China's richest man, earning a net worth of more than $40 billion.

"I've worked closely with Daniel since 2007 when he first joined us as chief financial officer of Taobao", said Joseph Tsai, Alibaba's executive vice-chairman who was the company's finance chief until 2013.

He is also known for his eccentric personality and has donned wigs and costumes to perform highly choreographed pop routines at company events.

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"Teachers always want their students to exceed them, so the responsible thing to do for me and the company to do is to let younger, more talented people take over in leadership roles", Mr Ma said in a statement on the day of his 54th birthday.

Since handing over the CEO role, Ma, who is married with three children, has concentrated on philanthropy and promoting Alibaba internationally at business and political events. He has also established a scholarship program in Newcastle, Australia.

"This transition demonstrates that Alibaba has stepped up to the next level of corporate governance from a company that relies on individuals, to one built on systems of organizational excellence and a culture of talent development", Ma wrote in a letter published Monday.

The charismatic Mr Ma, who is known for dressing like a rock star, said he wanted to return to education.

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