Alibaba founder Jack Ma to step down as chairman in September 2019

Andrew Cummings
September 10, 2018

The co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba and one of China's best-known businessmen, Jack Ma, is stepping down.

In a letter released by Alibaba, Ma announced that he would be succeeded by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Daniel Zhang.

Mr. Zhang will be promoted to the executive chairman on September 10, 2019, while Mr. Ma remains a director on Alibaba's board and a permanent member of the Alibaba Partnership, according to a letter written by Ma to all staff including to the Post.

The charismatic Mr Ma, who is known for dressing like a rock star, said he wanted to return to education.

Mr. Ma, who grew from an English teacher to China's top billionaires making Alibaba into $420 billion company, always took care to not ruffle feathers of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC).

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ma now has a net worth of around $40 billion.

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

Ma will continue as the executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months.

. He is a permanent member of the Alibaba Partnership.

"Zhang had earlier said that India is a "very important" market for Alibaba in its global strategy".

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Jack Ma pledged to help create a million U.S. jobs after a meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump.

After the meeting he said that they had both agreed that US-China relations "should be strengthened, should be more friendly and do better".

Ma, who also controls Alibaba payment affiliate Ant Financial, is stepping back amid more challenging times for Chinese tech companies as sales growth in China's eastern mega-cities shows signs of slowing.

He is retiring at a time when Chinese manufacturers and businesses are facing vast challenges from the United States trade war with China. A year ago he starred alongside Chinese action star Jet Li in a short kung fu film.

He is not only a fan of martial arts but has been practising tai chi for more than 30 years.

Other reports by iNewsToday