Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to retire

Though he will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, Ma will continue to serve on Alibaba's board where he will offer his input about the future financial direction of the company.

Earlier Friday, Ma said he could "retire earlier" during a conversation with Bloomberg about Bill Gates' career.

"I don't think it means that much, frankly". He co-founded the Chinese internet retailer in 1999 and built it into an empire now worth $420 billion and making the former English teacher China's richest man worth about $40 billion.

His retirement would mark "the beginning of an era" for him, one in which he could concentrate on charitable activities in education, a field close to his heart, he said in the interview.

Over the course of his tenure, Ma has also become China's richest man with a net worth of more than $40 billion.

Alibaba is active in sectors across the Chinese economy and has transformed many.

The company, still headquartered in his hometown, initially allowed businesses to sell products to each other online but soon morphed into China's largest online retail market.

Ma also keeps a high worldwide profile, frequently inviting global leaders to the company's Hangzhou headquarters.

Ma's decision also comes as a USA police investigation into an allegation of rape against Richard Liu, had of top rival JD.com Inc (JD.O), hammered its shares.

Ma is the first of his generation of uber-wealthy tech bosses to retire, a rare move in a country where business figures often run their empires well into their 80s - Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing only retired in May at the age of 89.

While Ma sees himself as an accidental executive who only entered the business world with Alibaba's founding nearly 20 years ago, he has become one of China's most recognized corporate leaders.

Ma will announce the plan on his 54th birthday and the handover strategy will stretch over a significant period of time, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper reported citing a company spokesman.

Chinese state media have burnished his rags-to-riches story, saying his parents were poorly educated and his father depended on a monthly retirement allowance of just $40 to support the family.

Jack Ma, one of the richest people in China, is getting ready to quit his job as chairman of Alibaba. He was released and has since returned to Beijing, where JD.com is based.

News of the executive's departure comes amid a tumultuous period the industry.

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