Jack Ma the Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, the co-founder and executive chairman of the Alibaba Group will leave his position as company chairman on Sept 10, 2019, according to an official announcement. CEO Daniel Zhang Yong will take over him.
The 53-year-old billionaire will ensure an orderly handover. He will continue on the board of directors until 2020. And he will remain a lifetime member of the 36-member Alibaba Partnership, which nominates company directors.
The multinational conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Limited specializes in e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI and technology. In its less than two decades of existence, Alibaba has transformed many Chinese industries and helped propel the change from an infrastructure – and an export-led Chinese company to one increasingly driven by consumption and services. Alibaba has also become the shop window for numerous foreign businesses wanting to address the huge, but regulated, Chinese markets.
The success story of Jack is incredible. Having come from a very humble background he is currently one of the richest people on the planet. He may be leaving the office of chairman but he will still be acting as partner of Alibaba and more importantly Ma will focus on public welfare and educational business, he said in an open letter to the public on Sept 10, a meaningful day — Ma’s birthday, the founding day of Alibaba and also China’s Teachers’ Day.
Ma, who worked as an English teacher before founding Alibaba, said:
“I think some day, and soon, I’ll go back to teaching. This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba.”
After graduating from Hangzhou Normal University, Ma always saw himself as a teacher. “Starting a business was only incidental. My biggest dream lies in education,” he said. According to him, he was always an educationist first.
Ma said that Alibaba was never about him or for that matter any single individual. He has been preparing for this succession plan for 10 years. Alibaba created a partnership then to provide solutions for company creativity, leader succession and culture succession issues.