Alibaba’s current Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Zhang, will replace him as Chairman.
Jack Ma, the Co-founder of China's largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, will step down as Executive Chairman of the company in one year. Alibaba’s current Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Zhang, will replace him as Chairman.
Ma will remain on Alibaba’s board of directors until 2020. He co-founded the company in 1999.
Ma said, "Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time, because I know from working with them that they are ready. Since he took over as CEO, he has demonstrated his superb talent, business acumen and determined leadership."
Mark Tanner, Founder of Shanghai-based research and marketing company China Skinny, said, "Ma possesses an enviable clarity about how everything fits together. He has understood Chinese consumer needs better than anyone and provided online services to meet them through convenience, entertainment and efficiencies."
Ma, who was a former English teacher, is planning to shift his focus to philanthropy and education. This will take him back to his profession before starting an e-commerce empire.
"I’ve prepared a Jack Ma Foundation. All these things that I’ve been preparing for 10 years. There are a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates. I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier," Ma said.