After widespread speculation about China-based e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Chairman Jack Ma’s resignation, Alibaba Group has announced today that the venerable billionaire mastermind behind the global brand is stepping down. Effective September 10 2019, exactly a year from today, Ma will hand over the reins to the conglomerate to his successor, current CEO Daniel Zhang. Ma will remain on the board of directors until the shareholder’s AGM in 2020.
Ma himself had stepped down as CEO in 2013, when he expressed his desire for the company to be led by younger management. Since, he has been gradually decreasing his involvement in the company, something he states he has been preparing for nearly 10 years now.
After stepping down as Chairman and from the board of directors, Ma will continue as a lifelong partner in the Alibaba Partnership. The Alibaba Partnership is a group of senior managers affiliated to the Alibaba Group of companies. They hold immense power, with the ability to nominate and install candidates on the board of directors.
Ma, an ex-educator, expresses his intention to return to education, something he says “excites me with so much blessing because this is what I love to do”.
Founder Jack Ma has also expressed his pride in having a hand in establishing the many organisational institutions in the company. In his letter to the press, Ma ended it with: “The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”
Cover image taken from Alibaba Group’s Facebook Page