Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

08 September, 2018, 19:12 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • China's richest man Jack Ma will retire on Monday

Ma was an English teacher before starting Alibaba in 1999. On one hand, Chinese tech companies are facing increased scrutiny by the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, the tech firms are caught in an escalating trade war between the USA and China.

Alibaba is the largest e-commerce company in China, with a portfolio ranging from online shopping to cloud computing to food delivery. It also hold stakes in several Chinese media companies, including the microblogging site Weibo. Another Chinese internet giant, Tencent Holdings, which owns some of the biggest game franchises in the world, posted a rare drop in profits last month as it confronts tighter government regulations. The company reported its annual active customer base hit 524 million.

Notably, while Ma had stepped down as the Alibaba CEO nearly eight years back, he remained the face of the company at top political and business events and he played an important role in devising the company's long term strategy. Ma told Bloomberg earlier this week that he wanted to dedicate more of his time and fortune to philanthropy with the creation of a foundation in his own name focused on education, following in the footsteps of fellow billionaire Bill Gates. Alibaba made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, which remains the largest initial public offering (IPO) in history. Alibaba has more than 86,000 employees on staff.




As Alibaba has flourished, Ma has talked many times about how he did not want to spend his whole life at the company, saying he would retire one day and go back to teaching. When asked if his retirement could happen as soon as this year, Ma smiled and said, "You'll know very soon". "On a day-to-day basis, Alibaba shareholders probably have little to fear should the charismatic Ma pull back a bit further". Alibaba, while hugely successful in China, it's not known as well overseas and the company has been looking for ways to raise its global profile. Ma also helped broker a meeting of 20 USA and Chinese executives in July 2017, to discuss economic rifts between the two countries. However, the Chinese billionaire will still remain on Alibaba's board of directors.

Ma told the Times that he sees his retirement as the beginning on a new chapter.

Mr. Ma will disclose his plans on Monday, when he turns 54, the person said.

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