Alibaba Group set for 'big challenge' as Jack Ma steps down as chairman
Shangai, Sep 10: Jack Ma, who founded Alibaba Group, the world's biggest e-commerce company, officially stepped down as chairman at a time when the rapidly changing industry faces uncertainty amid a US-Chinese trade war.
He will stay on as a member of the Alibaba Partnership, a group of 36 people with the right to nominate a majority of the company's board of directors.
The company has shifted its focus to serving China's growing consumer market. Domestic businesses accounted for 66 per cent of its USD 16.7 billion in revenue in the quarter ending in June.
A former English teacher whose often playful image shattered the stereotype of the drab Chinese executive, Ma officially leaves on Tuesday, his 55th birthday.
Ma plans to put his vast fortune - among China's biggest at $41 billion - into initiatives serving his first love, education, following the footsteps of a fellow tech innovator he admires: Bill Gates.
The departure of charismatic founders from big tech companies typically causes hand-wringing and wobbling share prices, but not at Alibaba.
The company's operational reins have for a couple of years now been in the hands of a respected team of executives who have kept it on e-commerce's cutting-edge.
Ma was Alibaba's driving force and a frequently irreverent ambassador for the company, known for stunts like a Michael Jackson-inspired dance at an Alibaba anniversary celebration two years ago and starring in his own kung fu short film.
OneIndia News with (PTI inputs)