Jack Ma steps down as the Chairman of Alibaba after 20 years, since the inception of the company. Ma announced the retirement in 2018. To make the transition smooth he remained in the company for one year. Daniel Zhang will be the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alibaba.
In a company event, teary eyed Jack Ma bid farewell to the company. He was wearing a rock star wig along with a guitar portraying as a rock star, reported Reuters.
Ma said, “After tonight I will start a new life … I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities, and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early.”
“When Alibaba was founded in 1999, our goal was to build a company that could make China and the world proud and one that could cross three centuries to last 102 years. However, we all knew that no one could stay with the company for 102 years. A sustainable Alibaba would have to be built on sound governance, culture-centric philosophy, and consistency in developing talent. No company can rely solely on its founders,” said Ma.
It is the “beginning of an era,” said Ma. The retirement is not an end to an era said Ma. Formerly Ma was an English school teacher. He said, “ I love education”, hinting to the audience that education is the next field in which he is planning to work.
In a letter shared with the shareholders and customers in September Ma said, “I have put a lot of thought and preparation into this succession plan for ten years.”
Jack Ma stepped down as the CEO of Alibaba in 2013 staying with the company as an executive chairman. Ma the co-founder of Alibaba, founded the company in 1999 out his apartment at Hangzhou, China.
In 2014 the company went public on the New York Stock and it is the largest e-commerce company by the amount of merchandise it has.
Ma said, “The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”