The Strategist

Alibaba founder is going to resign

09/10/2018 - 16:04

Founder and head of the Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, will resign from his position of the executive chairman of the company's board of directors in a year, in September 2019. His duties will then be transferred to the company’s CEO Daniel Zhang, who will continue to hold both posts.

Foundations World Economic Forum
Foundations World Economic Forum
Jack Ma made this announcement on Monday, on his 54th birthday. In an open letter to clients, shareholders and employees of Alibaba, he said that he wants to realize other dreams, including returning to work in the field of education, mainly with philanthropic projects. Before establishing Alibaba in 1999, he was a school teacher of English, and he is called "Teacher Ma" within the group.

Prior to the annual meeting of Alibaba shareholders in 2020, Jack Ma will retain a place on the board of directors of the company.

In less than 20 years, Jack Ma turned Alibaba into a giant global Internet trading company with a capitalization of $ 420 billion. The company's revenue in the last quarter amounted to $ 11.83 billion, an increase of 60% over the same period last year.

In 2013, Jack Ma stepped down as chief executive officer, but stayed as executive chairman of the company's board of directors. The businessman’s capital reaches almost $ 40 billion.

Jack Ma has about 4% of the company's shares, but the shareholder structure allows key managers to monitor adoption of key decisions in Alibaba.

46-year-old Daniel Zhang came to Alibaba in 2007. He was responsible for development of Tmall, the B2C platform, which has become an important channel for foreign companies seeking to sell their goods in China. It is believed that it is he who owns the idea of large-scale sales on the Day of Single People (or Bachelor Day), which is celebrated in China on November 11. It is also behind Alibaba's new retail initiative, which combines traditional stores and e-commerce.

"Alibaba has demonstrated consistent growth over 13 quarters under the leadership of Mr. Zhang," Mr. Ma said in the letter. "His analytical mind is unrivaled, his mission and vision are dear to him, he fearlessly takes responsibility, and he has the determination to innovate and test creative models of doing business."