Ma will continue his role as the founding partner in the Alibaba Partnership and contribute to the growth of the company.
Ma, on Tuesday with a gala celebration in Hangzhou, highlighted the firm’s journey from the firm’s early days in a small apartment into the $447 billion global ecommerce behemoth it is today.
Ma will be replaced by CEO Daniel Zhang who has been prepared to take over since the firm announced Ma’s retirement last year. In an admired “legacy of succession,” to ensure a flawless transition, Ma announced the development a year ago to give customers, employees and shareholders confidence in the growth and sustainability of the company, long before he is gone.
Last year, Alibaba Group announced that Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang would succeed Jack Ma as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group. Mr. Ma will continue as executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship to Mr. Zhang.
Mr. Ma will complete his current term as a member of Alibaba Group’s board of directors until its annual general meeting of shareholders in 2020.
Mr. Ma is a lifetime partner in the Alibaba Partnership and is a member of its partnership committee. The Alibaba Partnership is currently comprised of 36 partners who are also members of senior management of Alibaba Group or its affiliates. Pursuant to the articles of association of Alibaba Group, the Alibaba Partnership has the right to nominate a majority of the directors to the board of the company.
Mr. Ma, in a letter last year promised to work closely with Daniel to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Thereafter, Ma will stay on the Alibaba board of directors until its annual shareholders meeting in 2020.
Founded in 1999, Alibaba aims to last more than 102 years and for sustainability its build on sound governance, culture-centric philosophy, and consistency in developing talent.
“No company can rely solely on its founders. Of all people, I should know that. Because of physical limits on one’s ability and energy, no one can shoulder the responsibilities of chairman and CEO forever,” Mr. Ma said.
Daniel Zhang has been with Alibaba Group for 11 years. Since he took over as CEO, he has demonstrated his superb talent, business acumen and determined leadership. Under his stewardship, Alibaba has seen consistent and sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters.
His analytical mind is unparalleled, he holds dear our mission and vision, he embraces the responsibility with passion, and he has the guts to innovate and test creative business models.