Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire on Monday

08 September, 2018, 16:10 | Author: Elena Summers
  • Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

Ma co-founded Alibaba with 17 other people in 1999. He will focus on his Jack Ma Foundation and dedicate his time to improving education, he told the Times. "I think some day, and soon, I'll go back to teaching".

Ma, who boasts a net worth of almost $40 billion(€34 billion), making him China's richest man, said he would use his retirement to focus on his philanthropic work, mainly around education.

It remains unclear whether Alibaba will appoint a new chairman after Ma formally retires from the company on Monday.

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is China's third richest person with a net worth of $36.6 billion. Ma stepped down as Alibaba's chief executive in 2013; the company's current chief executive is Daniel Zhang, who is a candidate to succeed Ma.

Ma, 53, is also China's wealthiest individual.

Ma was born in September 1964 to Chinese traditional musician-storytellers living in Hangzhou, an ancient capital that has become a global hi-tech hub and bastion of entrepreneurship, in part because of Alibaba's base there. Alibaba is China's largest corporation and, with a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, is now valued at $420 billion.

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Richard Liu, the billionaire founder of Alibaba's main competitor JD.com, was briefly arrested in the USA over a rape allegation last week. China's biggest e-commerce firm, it now has more than 66,000 full-time employees, according to the company's latest annual filing.

As per a Reuters report, while Ma's retirement marks a milestone in the company's history, analysts believe and industry insiders believe that it is highly unlikely that his involvement in the company will change significantly. "I love education", he said.

Ma said he sees himself as an accidental executive.

Ma is stepping back at a tricky time for Chinese tech firms. "I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier".

Alibaba has one of the strongest management teams in corporate China and even if he steps down, Ma is likely still to have a role in setting top-level strategy, says Brock Silvers, MD of Kaiyuan Capital.

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.

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