One of the most notable international figures in the business world Jack Ma, CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has announced that he will be stepping down from his position. Jack, who has been the chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the past 14 years, announced that he would resign on May 10th as the CEO but actively take on the role of Executive Chairman, post that. He plans to name the next head at the date of his title change.
In a report released by the New York Times, Jack said that one of the main reasons for such a move was to bring forward new blood. Most of Alibaba Group’s management that is in their 30’s and 40’s s being encouraged to take up leadership roles in replacement of their seniors. Jack also stated another reason for the move being that he felt at 48 he was “no longer young enough to run such a fast growing business”. This news comes at the heels of previous reports of Alibaba buying back half of its stake in Yahoo last year to regain more control; and recent reports stating that the company is planning to divide itself into 25 smaller units to provide the managers heading them more flexibility. With its Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officers also resigning in 2011 post probes regarding fraud allegations, Alibaba has gone through several integral internal changes in the past 3 years.
Post May, Jack intends to focus on broad strategic issues, as well as corporate development and social responsibility and plans to remain active stating it would be impossible for him to retire completely. He is supposed to have been working with a selected few candidates of the younger generation in preparation for this move which has been in works for a while. Jack thinks his early departure will give time for the successor to grow, which is important in case Alibaba plans to go public in the future, although no such plans have been verified. And though speculation is rife as to who will take over this responsibility and no announcements have been made yet, Jack is confident they will have the right person by May 10th.
Jack Ma founded Alibaba.com in 1999, a China-based business-to-business marketplace site which currently one of the largest of such platforms in the international ecommerce sector. Alibaba Group is a holding company with six major subsidiaries – Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace, Alipay, Tmall.com, eTao, Alibaba Cloud Computing and Yahoo! China.