Alibaba’s Jack Ma to announce succession plan, not retirement

Beijing: Jack Ma, Alibaba Group Holding’s co-founder and executive chairman is set to announce a succession plan on Monday on his 54th birthday and said that he would not retire immediately, the South China Morning Post reported.

This development comes a day after the New York Times reported that the Chinese billionaire would step down to pursue philanthropy in education.

“Jack Ma, who co-founded the world’s largest e-commerce platform, will unveil a succession strategy next week, part of a management plan 10 years in the making for grooming a generation of younger executives to take over the reins of Asia’s most valuable company,” the Alibaba-owned South China Morning Post reported late Saturday.

Ma is also scheduled to speak at the company’s investor’s day in mid-September.

According to Alibaba’s report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Ma is a lifetime member of the Alibaba Partnership, which is a group of 36 senior managers who are responsible for maintaining the mission and culture of the Internet company.

“I sat down with our senior executives 10 years ago and asked what Alibaba would do without me,” Ma was quoted as saying by the SCMP.

“I’m very proud that Alibaba now has the structure, corporate culture, governance and system for grooming talent that allows me to step away without causing disruption.”

Known as Ma Yun in mainland China, he is slated to travel to Russia next week to formalise Alibaba’s venture with — the internet company owned by Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov and sovereign wealth fund Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF).

Ma gave up the title of Alibaba CEO in 2013 but remains a pivotal figure within the firm.

Last month, Alibaba reported a 60 per cent increase in quarterly sales, even as profits fell and its annual revenue totals about 250 billion yuan ($40 billion).

Alibaba has changed the way people work in China. Millions of people now run their own shops selling goods on its Taobao e-commerce platform or stream their own videos on its entertainment platforms, The Financial Times reported.

Taobao is estimated to have created almost 37 million jobs in China, according to a study last year by Renmin University’s School of Labour and Human Resources.