Alibaba, the world-famous e-commerce firm, says goodbye to Jack Ma, its founder and visioner. The 55-year-old entrepreneur to be replaced by handpicked successor Daniel Zhang, Guardian reports.
Jack Ma announced his retirement as chairman of Alibaba last year but his last day in the firm is today. The billionaire will mark his final day at a celebration marking his 55th birthday at an Olympic-sized sports stadium in Hangzhou, where he founded the company 20 years ago.
Ma has posted a video on Monday, he said he used to be the person who always looking forward. Earlier, he said he will turn his attention to philanthropy, focusing on education in rural areas.
Daniel Zhang, Alibaba CEO an accountant by training will replace Jack Ma. In an open letter announcing his resignation last year, Ma wrote: “I still have lots of dreams to pursue. Those who know me know that I do not like to sit idle. The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things”.
Alibaba’s Jack Ma steps down
Jack Ma is known for his extravagance and showmanship, the Chinese businessman likes to give an over-the-top performance. In an event in 2017, he dressed up as Michael Jackson and danced to the song Billie Jean.
Ma’s net worth is $38.4bn according to Forbes, making him China’s richest man. A company he found, which listed in the New York stock exchange in 2014 in the largest IPO to date, has a market capitalisation of $460bn. Since 1999, Alibaba has expanded into financial services, mobile payments, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Ma, who announced his succession plan last year, surprised observers with his early retirement but he will not relinquish his hold over the company completely.
Jack Ma decided to retain a 6.22% share of Alibaba and will remain on the board of directors until an annual shareholders’ meeting in 2020. In addition, he will be part of a corporate governing body of 38 members that is separate from the board. In other words, Alibaba remains an important part of retired Ma, indeed.