Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma plans to retire from the company next week. He is not only the co-founder of such a huge company but also China’s richest person. He played a significant role in one of the most successful businesses in the country. After his retirement, he wants to focus on philanthropy. He will soon unveil a succession plan after his retirement.
In an interview with the Morning Post, Ma mentions that he had a meeting with the company’s senior officials a decade ago. In this meeting, he asked everyone about what Alibaba will do after his retirement. So, he was planning to prepare the next generation of leaders to lead the company.
In 1999, Jack Ma started Alibaba and helped it to grow into a $420 billion business. Alibaba has reshaped the way people purchase or pay for online goods in China. Currently, Ma is 53 years old and owns a 6.4 percent stake in the company. So, he owns a net worth of more than $40 billion.
Initially, Alibaba began as an online marketplace based on a business-to-business model. But, with the launch of the direct-to-consumer marketplace in 2003, it started to grow rapidly. Since then, it has expanded into cloud computing, digital media, and other industries. With this, it provided its users with the online payments product Alipay. So, Alibaba has proved to be an everyday service provider by expanding itself rapidly into all industries. Today, Alibaba is popularly known as the Amazon of China. The company also owns a good amount of stake in Weibo. Weibo is a social media platform in China which is similar to Twitter.
Ma will now continue as Alibaba‘s executive chairman. He will provide the company with his suggestions and play a major role in taking important decisions. Back in 2013, he granted the role of CEO to David Zhang. He also manages and controls Ant Financial, which is the rebranded Alipay. Ant Financial is just the financial services subsidiary of Alibaba.
According to the NYT reports, Zhang is a likely successor of Ma’s duties. Ma is one of the first billionaire businessmen to retire at a very young age. Considering his generation billionaire businessmen in China he is way too young. People in China admire him as “Teacher Ma”. His philanthropic arm, the Jack Ma Foundation is focused on supporting education in rural areas of China.