Beijing, September 11: On Jack Ma's 55th birthday, he formally stepped down from Alibaba, and handed over the reins of the $460 billion Chinese e-commerce giant to Daniel Zhang. Donning a guitar and a rockstar wig at an event held for thousands of his employees, Ma was spotted once welling up with tears. Jack Ma Steps Down as Alibaba Chairman; Will Daniel Zhang Be Able to Steer the $460 Billion Chinese E-Commerce Operations Amid Economic Slowdown?
According to a report on Reuters, he said, "After tonight I will start a new life. I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities, and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early." Ma wants to spend more time on philanthropy and education and his Jack Ma Foundation would thus work towards penetrating education in all peripheries of the nation.
Toward the end of the ceremony, Ma, co-founder Lucy Peng, and CEO of Alibaba's technology committee Wang Juan donned rock star-style leather jackets and wigs to perform Chinese pop songs.
— Yicai Global 第一财经 (@yicaichina) September 11, 2019
Ma will be thus leaving his handpicked successor Daniel Zhang a daunting task of steering the $460 billion Alibaba at a time when the market for its core e-commerce business has slowed sharply. Zhang will play a pivotal role in finding new areas of growth as China's e-commerce sector matures.
Alibaba has grown by leaps in the past two decades, not only dominating the market in China but also grabbing a market share in most nations of the South and Southeast Asia.