Jack Ma, China’s Richest Man, Steps Down From $460 Billion Alibaba Empire

His farewell get together is going down in an 80,000-seat stadium.

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This story initially appeared on Business Insider

Jack Ma, the flamboyant tech persona and the richest man in China, is leaving his $460 billion Alibaba empire 20 years after founding the corporate.

Ma is stepping down because the chairman of Alibaba Group on Tuesday, his 55th birthday, as a part of a long-planned succession scheme. Alibaba Group is the world’s largest e-commerce group, with greater than triple the full reported gross sales of Amazon for 2018.

A former English instructor, Ma based the corporate with 17 others in a small apartment in 1999. It started as an organization that bought Chinese language items around the globe however shifted its focus to the home Chinese language market because the nation’s economic system boomed. It later expanded into on-line banking, synthetic intelligence and leisure.

The corporate’s 2014 preliminary public providing remains the biggest in history, at $25 billion. Ma is value about $40 billion, according to Bloomberg‘s Billionaires Index, a internet value greater than anybody else in China and 21st on the planet.

Alibaba Group now employs greater than 100,000 folks, according to Reuters.

Whereas he’s stepping down from a serious management function, Ma stated he would take a place in Alibaba’s “partnership,” a 38-person physique with an oblique function within the governance of the group.

Picture credit score: Sean Gallup/Getty Photographs

Ma has picked Daniel Zhang, the CEO of Alibaba since 2015, to take over, although he’s unlikely to match Ma’s well-known flamboyance.

Ma starred in a kung fu moviesang at a music festival, and as soon as carried out at an organization get together whereas dressed as Michael Jackson.

Ma can be recognized for the extravagant occasions he holds for workers throughout Alibaba’s annual Singles Day procuring occasion, whose gross sales final yr outstripped Amazon's Prime Day. The occasion has featured performers like Mariah Carey and Cirque du Soleil.

And Ma additionally hasn’t held again for Ali Day, which celebrates staff and their households and has even included Ma officiating a lavish employee mass wedding.

His fashion can be obvious in his resignation plans, which contain a farewell get together at an 80,000-seat stadium in Hangzhou, the town the place he based the corporate many years in the past, Reuters reported.

Earlier this yr, Ma presided over a mass marriage ceremony of 102 {couples}.

Picture credit score: REUTERS/Stringer

Alibaba on Monday shared a video of Ma returning to that condo, the place he recalled telling early staff: “That is the place we will work for a yr most likely. We’ll eat right here. We’ll sleep right here. We’ll work day and evening right here.

“And we are going to most likely obtain one thing. Or most likely we’ll need to exit in search of jobs collectively.”

He stated their aim then was to be among the many world’s 10 hottest web sites and to empower small companies.

Zhang might face challenges amid the commerce struggle between the U.S. and China and a slowdown in the Chinese e-commerce industry.

Liu Yiming, an analyst on the Chinese language tech publishing group 36kr, told Reuters that “if Alibaba desires to seek out new improvements or developments, that is going to be harder than earlier than.”

“For Daniel Zhang,” Liu stated, “this can be an enormous problem.”

Author: Maxwell C.

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