Jack Ma to hand Alibaba's helm to CEO Daniel Zhang next year
10 September, 2018, 17:00 | Author: Corey Lynch
Mr. Ma said he will remain Alibaba's executive chairman during the year-long period to ensure a "smooth and successful" transition, and stay on as an Alibaba director until a shareholder' meeting in 2020.
Alibaba is one of a group of companies including Tencent Holding Ltd., a games and social media giant, search engine Baidu.com Inc. and e-commerce rival JD.com that have revolutionized shopping, entertainment and consumer services in China.
Jack Ma, who founded e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and helped launch China's online retailing boom, announced Monday that he will step down as the company's chairman next September.
The story goes on to quote Ma, who apparently spoke with the Times: "Mr. Ma said his retirement is not the end of an era but 'the beginning of an era.' He said he would be spending more of his time and fortune focused on education".
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jack Ma says he wants to return to education because this is what he "loves to do".
Former English teacher Ma, 54, has become a globally recognised figure through his constant travel and playful antics such as impersonating Michael Jackson at a company event previous year.
Alibaba is one of the world's most valuable companies - its shares almost doubled in value a year ago.
A spokeswoman for The New York Times in an email to Cheddar prior to the announcement said it stands by its story.
But on Sunday, a spokesman for Alibaba denied he was ready to retire in the South China Morning Post, which is owned by Ma. These include continuous innovation, leadership succession, accountability and cultural continuity.
Alibaba's diversified portfolio in India include investments in digital payments platform Paytm, in Cloud computing via Alibaba Cloud, in the digital media space via UCWeb and several innovation initiatives that makes the country an attractive destination for the United States dollars 420-billion conglomerate. The co-founder of China's e-commerce juggernaut plans to leave the company next year. "Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba".
The announcement on Monday is set to coincide with Ma's 54th birthday.
"Simply relying on individuals or blindly following a system will not solve our problems to achieve long-term sustainable growth; you need the right balance among system, people and culture", Ma said in an email letter to the group's 86,833 employees, which the Hangzhou-based global firm shared with IANS. Before starting Alibaba in 1999, Jack was an English teacher and his colleagues often address him as "Teacher Ma". In 2016, the United Nations named him a Special Adviser to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), to help young entrepreneurs and small businesses globally, with an emphasis on developing countries. Gates stepped down as chairman of Microsoft four years ago at the age of 58 to pursue philanthropic efforts. In fact, since I handed over the CEO's responsibilities in 2013, the company has run smoothly for five years on the back of these institutional ingredients.
Ma will continue as the executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months.
Launched in 2009 as China's answer to the US "Black Friday", "Singles' Day" last year saw more than $25 billion worth of goods snapped up on Alibaba platforms, up almost 40 percent year-on-year.
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Alibaba made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, which remains the largest initial public offering (IPO) in history. It also hold stakes in several Chinese media companies, including the microblogging site Weibo.
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But journalists at other papers suggested that the piece by the anonymous official was simply too remarkable to ignore. He added that he thought it was wrong of the Times not to identify the piece's author.