Alibaba chair Jack Ma steps down on his 55th birthday

China’s richest man retires today, handing over the reins to successor and company chief executive Daniel Zhang

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 10.09.2019 | Retail

Alibaba chair Jack Ma steps down on his 55th birthday thumbnail

China’s richest man Jack Ma today steps down as chairman of Alibaba, 20 years after founding the ecommerce company.

As he celebrates his 55th birthday, Ma will hand over the reins to Daniel Zhang, the company’s CEO who Ma handpicked last year.

Ma’s retirement was announced last September. In an open letter he said: “Those who know me know that I do not like to sit idle. The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things.”

Ma says he wants to dedicate the rest of his life and £31bn fortune to philanthropic pursuits, specifically one of his known passions: the widespread of education to people living in rural and disadvantaged areas.

Alibaba began in 1999 as a trading platform for businesses, only launching its consumer-facing business in 2003. As global retail growth stalled, Alibaba followed Amazon in branching out into services, offering online payments, financial services, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

Alibaba has been listed on the New York stock exchange since 2014 and has a market capitalisation of $460bn.


Interview: “We don’t create for kids, we create with kids” thumbnail

Interview: “We don’t create for kids, we create with kids”

Noel Donegan, who co-founded Zulleon with his wife Luz, discusses the incredible rise of Ooks, their unique digital property where ...

Mip 19: Cosmos-Maya launches distribution division thumbnail

Mip 19: Cosmos-Maya launches distribution division

WowKidz Distribution will launch at next week's Mipcom and aims to “negate the geographical and language barrier for content” into ...

Toon2Tango unveils its futuristic first production thumbnail

Toon2Tango unveils its futuristic first production

Rebel Nature, the first IP from Ulli Stoef’s new studio, paints a stark vision of near-future Earth with a licensing ...

Press Releases

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020 thumbnail

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020

Kids’ TV channel expands its Sesame Street content with new series of short-form, interactive episodes

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2 thumbnail

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2

UK kids’ block acquires second series of the Millimages pre-school animation after successful first run

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice thumbnail

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice

Moorcroft and RHS present the limited-edition vase Chelsea’s Choice, celebrating Chelsea Flower Show 18 Plant of the Year

Henson back catalogue hits Amazon thumbnail

Henson back catalogue hits Amazon

More than 100 days’ of The Jim Henson Company’s content including Fraggle Rock now streaming on Amazon Prime Video