Co-Founder and the executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, Jack Ma has announced he will be stepping down comes the end of the year. The billionaire made this announcement via a letter sent to Alibaba customers and shareholders.
Mr Ma who is worth $36.6bn (£28.34bn) is a one time English teacher and co-founder of Alibaba which has become one of the world’s biggest internet companies. In an interview with Bloomberg Television when asked why he was retiring at an early age, the charismatic Mr Ma said;
There’s a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates. I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier.
Mr Ma, who is known for dressing like a rock star, said he wanted to return to education.
“The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things,” Mr Ma said, adding he plans to continue in his role as founding partner.
“The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”
He said Mr Zhang, who has been with Alibaba for eleven years, had demonstrated “superb talent” since taking over as chief executive.
Alibaba listed in New York in 2014 in what was then the world’s biggest initial public offering of shares. It reported revenues of $39.9bn for the fiscal year ended March 2018.