On the event of his 54th birthday (September 10), Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma announced his retirement as chairman of the corporate.
In a letter despatched to prospects, workers, and shareholders, Ma defined that in precisely one yr, on September 10, 2019—which can also be Alibaba’s 20th anniversary—Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang will exchange him as chairman of the board. Ma will stay on the board of administrators till the corporate’s annual shareholders assembly in 2020.
So who’s Zhang, Ma’s alternative?
Zhang has served as CEO of Alibaba since 2015 and labored on the Alibaba Group extra broadly for 11 years. Ma expressed confidence in his CEO, writing that “the company has run smoothly for five years on the back of these institutional ingredients,” and highlighting that China’s enterprise information media named him the highest CEO of 2018.
Zhang is a Shanghai-educated licensed accountant. He joined Taobao, an e-commerce website owned by Alibaba, as chief monetary officer in 2007. He has been credited because the “key architect” of Singles’ Day, turning it into the world’s largest procuring day, outpacing Black Friday and Cyber Monday mixed. Last yr, Singles’ Day, which falls on November 11, topped $25 billion in sales.
Ma first turned over the place of CEO in 2013, to Jonathan Lu. But 46-year-old Zhang took over as CEO from Lu after Ma introduced that it was time for the corporate to be run by people born in the 1970s and after. At the time, Zhang was serving as COO.
In the years since, Zhang has been accountable for managing 13 consecutive quarters of “consistent and sustainable growth,” Ma wrote in Monday’s letter. Alibaba’s inventory has grown 87% during Zhang’s tenure and has a market value of around $420 billion, which is greater than rival Tencent Holdings.
“Teachers always want their students to exceed them,” Ma wrote, “so the responsible thing to do for me and the company to do is to let younger, more talented people take over in leadership roles so that they inherit our mission ‘to make it easy to do business anywhere.’”
But, Ma added, “The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”