Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Alibaba founder Jack Ma to retire

Alibaba founder Jack Ma to retire

Jack Ma, who founded e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and helped to launch China's online retailing boom, announced Monday that he will step down as the company's chairman next September.

The New York Times, which interviewed him, reported on Saturday that Mr. Ma planned to use his 54h birthday to announce his retirement to devote his time to philanthropy focused on education.

In a letter released by Alibaba, Ma said he will be succeeded by CEO Daniel Zhang.

The billionaire will remain as executive chairman of the company for the next 12 months to mentor his successor and ensure a "smooth and successful transition".

Mr Ma has a current net worth of $36.6bn (£28.3bn), according to Forbes.

"The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things", Mr Ma said, adding he plans to continue in his role as founding partner.

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Politicians must present "radical and immediate" solutions at the meeting or step down if they fail to do so, he said. Hundreds of protesters on Thursday night set fire to a government building as well as the offices of Shiite militias.

Other members include Eric Jing, chief of Alibaba payment affiliate Ant Financial, Joe Tsai, executive vice chairman of Alibaba, Simon Hu, chief of Alibaba Cloud, and Lucy Peng, who heads Alibaba's Southeast Asia business.

The company, which is battling arch rival Tencent Holdings for pole position in the food delivery market, recently said it will merge units including and Koubei and raise funds for the combined business.

"The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba".

Zhang, who was earlier the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Taobao, an online shopping portal owned by the Alibaba Group, was appointed the CEO of the Alibaba Group in 2015.

Alibaba listed in NY in 2014 in what was then the world's biggest initial public offering of shares.

Alibaba, which reported almost $40 billion in revenue past year, says it has an annual active customer base of 524 million.

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