Published: Sat, September 08, 2018
Money | By Arnold Ball

Jack Ma to unveil succession plan to groom younger talent over time

Jack Ma to unveil succession plan to groom younger talent over time

He is referred to as "Teacher Ma" within Alibaba.

He retired as Alibaba's chief executive in 2013, eventually handing the reins to his protege Daniel Zhang, but he remained active within the company, providing strategic direction as chairman. His retirement is not an end of an era but "the beginning of an era", Ma told the publication in an interview adding that he would be spending more of his time and fortune on education.

After being knocked back by United States venture capitalists in 1999, cash-strapped Chinese entrepreneur Ma persuaded friends to give him $60,000 to start an e-commerce firm called Alibaba.

The company had a market value of about $420 billion as of Friday's close.

Ever the drama creators, other outlets were quick to say Ma is trying to one-up Gates. Ma established the Jack Ma Foundation in 2014, which fosters education for those in rural China, and has professed his love of education. He is a cult figure in China's internet industry and has attracted a large following among entrepreneurs and in pop culture alike. He turns 54 on Monday, which is a holiday in China known as Teacher's Day, reported AFP.

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If that did not happen, I would not have won the titles. "When we win we are good, when we do not win we are not good. In this job you get questioned for what is happening now - people soon forget your history and what you've done".

"It doesn't matter how big or small your contribution is, and it doesn't mean you have to do something big or be someone important to do philanthropy", Ma Said recently at Alibaba's conference on philanthropy, in Hangzhou. Last year, he met U.S. President Donald Trump, who described him as "smart" and "open minded".

Ma is retiring as China's business environment has soured, with Beijing and state-owned enterprises increasingly playing more interventionist roles with companies. On one hand, Chinese tech companies are facing increased scrutiny by the Chinese government led by President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, the tech firms are caught in an escalating trade war between the USA and China.

Ma's retirement comes at an tough time for the Chinese tech industry.

Trade tensions also present a new challenge for Chinese tech firms, especially those like Alibaba which are rapidly expanding overseas. Liu, who goes by Richard Liu in the English-speaking world, was arrested on a rape allegation in Minneapolis during a business trip.

Earlier this year regulators shot down a $1.2-billion bid for money transfer service Moneygram International Inc by Ant Financial on national security grounds, which the company said was related to "geopolitical" changes.

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