Economy

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma steps down, CEO Daniel Zhang succeeds

Alibaba chairman Jack Ma steps down, CEO Daniel Zhang succeeds”

Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma will step down from the Chinese firm on Tuesday, leaving his handpicked successor a daunting task of steering the $460 billion juggernaut at a time when the market for its core e-commerce business has slowed sharply.

Jack Ma, the self-made Chinese business magnate with a net worth of almost $42 billion and founder of the online shopping giant Alibaba, has officially retired from the company he started.

Daniel Zhang, Alibaba's CEO since 2015, will take the reins as chairman.

Alibaba marked Ma's departure with a nostalgic video in which the billionaire returned to the humble Hangzhou apartment from which he founded his company (below). "I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities, and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early", Ma told guests and employees.

Ma is stepping down on his 55th birthday and Alibaba's 20th.

He is set to remain a member of Alibaba's partnership, a corporate governing group of 38 individuals that is separate from the board of directors. He announced a year ago that he would be standing aside to devote more time to "education, philanthropy and the environment".

He was personally instrumental in a 2016 co-production and financing deal with Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners, which has led to joint ventures such as "A Dog's Journey", starring Dennis Quaid.

Alibaba's sprawling operations have penetrated Hollywood in recent years.

Alibaba's stock price has risen about 10% in the past year, and revenue in the last quarter was up 42% year-on-year to about $16 billion (RMB115 billion).



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