Jack Ma resigns as chairman of Alibaba Group and hands over the reins.
Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma has announced he will stepp down as chairman of Alibaba, the world’s biggest e-commerce business. Ma announced his retirement plans exactly one year ago, saying at the time he wanted to spend more time focusing on education.
After 20 years at the front of the $460 billion Alibaba empire, China’s richest man said he would take a position in the Alibaba Partnership, a 38-person body with an indirect role in the governance of the group.
In a video posted on Monday, Ma said: “I’m the person always looking forward. I don’t want to look at the things back.” Ma, a former English teacher, has previously said he will turn his attention to philanthropy, focusing on education in rural areas.
“The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba,” Ma said, signing off his letter.
According to Business Insider, Ma has picked Daniel Zhang, the CEO of Alibaba since 2015, to take over after his departure effective September 10, 2019. He is most likely to face the challenges of the US-China trade war that has been slowing the Chinese e-commerce industry.
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Who is Daniel Zhang?
According to South China Morning Post, Zhang, 46, had previously served as chief financial officer at taobao Marketplace, president at Tmall and as Alibaba’s chief operating officer before succeeding Jonathan Lu Zhaoxi as chief executive. He has also worked as chief financial officer at Chinese gaming company Shanda Interactive Entertainment, and was a senior manager at PwC’s audit and business advisory division in Shanghai.Zhang now has his sights set on helping Alibaba further its New Retail strategy and to expand overseas. He studied finance at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics.
When the announcement was made that Zhang would become Alibaba’s chief executive, Ma said in a statement in 2015: “Daniel [Zhang] is a proven international business leader and innovator with a strong track record of delivering results,”