Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s (BABA.N) co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma will retire from the e-commerce company on Monday, as the former English teacher seeks to focus on philanthropy in education, the New York Times reported.
Ma, one of China’s best known corporate leaders, will remain on the company’s board of directors and continue to mentor its management, New York Times notes on Friday.
Ma Started Alibaba in 1999 and became chief executive in 2013. Currently, he serves as the company’s international face at top political and business’s events.
As stated by Forbes Magazine Ma is the third richest person of China with a net worth of $36.6 billion. He is revered by many Chinese, some of whom have put his portrait in their homes to worship in the same way that they worship the God of Wealth.
In an interview with the New York Times, 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. “I love education,” he added.
“I don’t think it means that much, frankly. He stepped back from the CEO role about four or five years ago and very specifically made a comment about wanting the younger people to lead the company,” said Kevin Carter, founder of The Emerging Markets Internet exchange-trade fund.
As mentioned by Reuters, Kevin Carter, founder of The Emerging Markets Internet exchange-trade fund said “I don’t think it means that much, frankly. He stepped back from the CEO role about four or five years ago and very specifically commented about wanting the younger people to lead the company”.
“I’m sure he’ll be just as involved as he has been in his chairman role, even if he doesn’t have the formal title,” added Carter to the Reuters.
Ma celebrated his 54th birthday on Monday (September 3).
In an interview with Bloomberg TV this week, Mr. Ma signaled he was thinking about focusing more on philanthropy. He cited the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates as an example.
Mr. Ma said he could never be as productive as Mr. Gates — but that he could retire earlier than Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates stepped down as Microsoft’s chairman in 2014, at the age of 58.
Alibaba Group Holding Limited is a Chinese multinational holding conglomerate specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, AI, and technology. Founded in 1999, the company provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer and business-to-business sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines, and cloud computing services. It owns and operates a diverse array of businesses around the world in numerous sectors, and is named as one of the world’s most admired companies by Fortune.