Alibaba’s Jack Ma making arrangements to step down in September 2019

Ivan Schwartz
September 10, 2018

He relinquished the role of chief executive in 2013.

Alibaba said Ma will remain a member of the group that has a right to nominate a majority of the company's board of directors.

Ma has headlined conferences around the world and was one of the first foreign business leaders to meet with Donald Trump after his election.

That he speaks impeccable English despite being a Chinese comes from the fact that Jack Yun Ma, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, graduated from Hangzhou Teacher's Institute with a major in English and later became a teacher, imparting lessons in the same language.

According to Ma, a "sustainable Alibaba" would have to be built on "sound governance, culture-centric philosophy, and consistency in developing talent", adding that no company can rely exclusively on its founders.

Mr. Ma (54), will hand over the keys of his company to 46-year-old Daniel Zhang in an unprecedented succession plan that will slowly take the focus off one of China's most recognisable corporate names over the next 12 months, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post, which is owned by Alibaba, reported. "There's a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates".

Zhang, 46, has been CEO since 2015 after serving as chief operating officer and is known as a key architect of Alibaba's "Singles Day", the November 11 event that has become the world's largest online shopping event.

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"Under his stewardship, Alibaba has seen consistent and sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters".

On September 3, the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Alibaba Cloud to adopt cloud computing frameworks within the government model.

Before moving into the business world with Alibaba's founding nearly 20 years ago, Ma was an English teacher.

Other members include Eric Jing, chief of Alibaba payment affiliate Ant Financial [ANTFIN.UL], Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba, Simon Hu, chief of Alibaba Cloud, and Lucy Peng, who heads Alibaba's Southeast Asia business. It was then backed by $60,000 from 18 co-founders. Mr Ma has lately taken on educational initiatives as a pet project. He has also established a scholarship program in Newcastle, Australia.

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.

Not just the private sector, Alibaba is also increasing its footprint in the government sector.

Other reports by GizPress

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