Alibaba's Jack Ma has stepped down, names the CEO as successor
Jack Ma will continue serving as a board member until its annual general shareholders’ meeting in 2020
Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, one of China's biggest tech titans has stepped down. The group’s CEO, Daniel Zhang, will succeed Ma as chairman next year. Ma will continue serving as a board member until its annual general shareholders’ meeting in 2020.
Alibaba confirmed that Ma would continue as chairman of the company for 12 months, before handing the chairmanship over to current CEO Daniel Zhang. This is in order to "ensure a smooth transition”. Ma said the reason he's leaving is to pursue philanthropic endeavours focused on education.
Ma co-founded Alibaba with 17 other people in 1999. He helped build it into a $420 billion company with more than 500 million Chinese customers who use the site to purchase everything from clothes to cement. Alibaba now also handles digital payments, online banking, cloud computing and digital media and entertainment.
Over the course of his tenure, Ma became China's richest man, earning a net worth of more than $40 billion.
The press release included a letter from Ma to Alibaba customers and shareholders, wherein he stated, "put a lot of thought and preparation into this succession plan for ten years. As for myself, I still have lots of dreams to pursue. Those who know me know that I do not like to sit idle ... I also want to return to education, which excites me with so much blessing because this is what I love to do. The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things – because what if new dreams can be realised?!"
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