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Jack Ma steps down as chairman of Alibaba, Daniel Zhang takes over

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The Founder and now retiring Chairman of the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, has stepped down as Executive Chairman of the $462 billion worth online platform.

This was announced on September, 10, 2019 which happens to be Jack’s 55th birthday, the company’s 20th anniversary and the Chinese Teachers’ Day.

Ma, who is undoubtedly the richest man in China, having a worth of about $40 billion, has shared that he would focus his freed time on rural education philanthropy, going back to his former teaching profession as ‘Teacher Ma’.

According to the Financial Times, this retirement has left some lofty goals for the company whose share prices has risen 9.4% since he announced his impending retirement.

It is expected that by 2036, Alibaba should create 100 million jobs, support 10 million businesses and offer services to 2 billion customers, from 654 million present customers, around the world.

The New York Times reports, however, that it is crucial to note that the reins of the parent company, Alipay, will still be controlled by Ma. Alipay is the Chinese online payment system used in many of Alibaba’s digital marketplaces and is competitive with the popular WeChat which is also a power to reckon with in online payment services in China, proving to be a challenge to Jack Ma.

It would be recalled that during his 54th birthday, Jack had announced his retirement plan and disclosed he plans to remain on the board till 2020. He also shared that Alibaba was never about him, but he would always belong to Alibaba.

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His successor, Daniel Zhang has been with Alibaba for twelve years and has served as the CEO of the company, when he replaced Jonathan Lu.

Daniel Zhang, new Chairman of Alibaba Group

Daniel Zhang, new Chairman of Alibaba Group

The changes to follow Zhang’s role as the Chairman will be seen with time, even though it is obvious that Jack will still oversee and lead until 2020.

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