Jack Ma retires. Why you should know him
The man who brought e-commerce revolution in China is saying goodbye to the company he started. Jack Ma has resigned from the post of executive chairman of Alibaba. CEO Daniel Zhang will be the new head of the company. The retirement celebration was a big bash at an Olympic-sized stadium in the company’s hometown of Hangzhou. It’s like his 55th birthday gift to himself.
The businessman would now concentrate on charity work. He started the Jack Ma Foundation in 2014, following the steps of Bill and Melinda Foundation and would now work for humanity causes.
A former teacher, he has often talked about his passion for education. Ma’s rags to riches story has inspired millions of tech entrepreneurs in China. He founded Alibaba with a group of friends in a shared apartment in Hangzhou in 1999 and struggled for years to get it off the ground. Eventually the company ushered in e-commerce to China, with the marketplaces Taobao and T-mall.
Ma’s net worth is $38.4 billion, according to Forbes, making him China’s richest man. He retains a 6.22% share and will remain with the company until an annual shareholders’ meeting in 2020.
Ma was honoured by the Chinese government last November as one of 100 people who had made “outstanding contributions” to China’s growth.
Jack Ma’s parents were practitioners of the “ping tan,” a Chinese tradition of musical storytelling that was banned during Mao’s Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. But he still loves the show business. Forrest Gump is his favourite film.