Bejing, Sep 8: Alibaba co-founder and chairman Jack Ma plans to retire from the Chinese e-commerce giant to devote his time to philanthropy focused on education, he told the New York Times in an interview.
Ma told The New York Times that his retirement is not the end of an era but "the beginning of an era." He said he would be spending more of his time and fortune focused on education. "I love education," he said. Ma was an English teacher before starting Alibaba in 1999 and built it into a multibillion-dollar internet colossus, becoming one of the world's richest men and a revered figure in his homeland.
Mr. Ma will remain on Alibaba's board of directors and continue to mentor the company's management. Mr. Ma turns 54 on Monday, which is also a holiday in China known as Teacher's Day. His own worth has soared along with that of the company, which was valued at USD 420.8 billion based on its share price at the close of trade on Friday.
Jack Ma during closing ceremony of Asian Game
Jack Ma executive chairman of Alibaba Group prepares to hit ball into the crowd during the closing ceremony for the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018. AP/PTI
Jack Ma With Donald Trump
In this Jan. 9, 2017 photo, then President-elect Donald Trump stands with Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma as they walk to speak with reporters after a meeting at Trump Tower in New York. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba Group, the world‚Äôs biggest online commerce company by total sales, was among the stream of Chinese business leaders who visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet the president following his election. AP/ PTI
Jack Ma at Global Shopping Festival gala
In this photo taken Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, Jack Ma is founder of China's biggest e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, attends a star-studded 2017 Tmall 11.11 Global Shopping Festival gala, in Shanghai. Chinese consumers are spending billions of dollars shopping online for anything from diapers to diamonds on "Singles Day," a day of promotions that has grown into the world's biggest e-commerce event. AP/PTI
Jack Ma With PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Founder and Executive Chairman, Alibaba group, Jack Ma in New Delhi on Monday. PTI Photo (March 30,2015)
Jack Ma With Steven Spielberg
Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg with Jack Ma during the signing of the agreement between Amblin Partners and Alibaba Pictures Group Limited to co-produce and finance films for global and Chinese film markets in Beijing on Sunday. PTI Photo (2016-10-09)