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Business
10 Sep 2018

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to step down in September 2019

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, one of the world's richest business executives, has announced that he will step down as the executive chairman of Alibaba in September 2019.

Daniel Zhang, the current CEO of Alibaba, will take Ma's post on September 10, 2019, once the billionaire resigns.

For those unaware, Alibaba is currently one of the world's most valuable companies.

Here are the details.

In context

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma announces early retirement
Jack Ma will remain a director of Alibaba

Jack Ma

Jack Ma will remain a director of Alibaba

Alibaba was founded in 1999 by Jack Ma and Peng Lei.

Ma, a former English teacher, has become almost synonymous with the company, and has used his position as executive chairman since 2013 to develop managerial talent capable of running the company in his absence.

Currently, Ma is worth a whopping $36.6bn, and will remain a director of Alibaba even after he steps down.

Daniel Zhang will be well-suited to his new role

"Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time, because I know from working with them that they are ready," said Ma in a statement.

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Plans

So, what are Jack Ma's plans after his early retirement?

Ma's exit from Alibaba will coincide with the billionaire's 55th birthday.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV last week, Ma said that he plans use his early retirement to pursue activities related to philanthropy and education.

Ma has a foundation in his name for the same, inspired in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

He also plans to return to teaching.

Jack Ma speaks about his retirement plans

"I've prepared a Jack Ma Foundation. All these things...I've been preparing for 10 years. There's a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates. I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier," said Ma.

Alibaba is currently an internet behemoth

Alibaba

Alibaba is currently an internet behemoth

Since its small start in 1999, Alibaba has grown to become an internet giant.

Staring off as an e-commerce platform, the company has now moved beyond that segment, dipping its fingers into computing, digital payments (Paytm is backed by Alibaba), healthcare, Hollywood movies, and funding Chinese start-ups.

Understandably, Alibaba's share prices have doubled since its initial public offering (IPO) in 2014.

Currently, Alibaba is worth a whopping $500bn

As of June 2018, Alibaba had over 34,000 employees, and was among the world's largest publicly traded companies with a market valuation of a whopping $499.4bn.

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