Alibaba Executive Chairman Jack Ma has announced his intention to step down from the role on September 10, 2019. Ma will be succeeded by current CEO Daniel Zhang.
Ma issued a letter to Alibaba’s customers, employees and shareholders reassuring them of a smooth transition.
“While remaining as Executive Chairman in the next 12 months, I will work closely with Daniel to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Thereafter, I will stay on the Alibaba Board of Directors until our annual shareholders meeting in 2020.
“…When Alibaba was founded in 1999, our goal was to build a company that could make China and the world proud and one that could cross three centuries to last 102 years. However, we all knew that no one could stay with the company for 102 years… Because of physical limits on one’s ability and energy, no one can shoulder the responsibilities of Chairman and CEO forever.
“…Daniel has been with Alibaba Group for 11 years. Since he took over as CEO, he has demonstrated his superb talent, business acumen and determined leadership.”
To close, Ma indicated that among his dreams for the future, he would like to return to education, signing off with, “Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”.