Alibaba Co-founder Jack Ma says he isn't about to retire from the firm.






Co-founder and Chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma, has pushed back on claims that he is on the cusp of leaving the giant Chinese e-commerce firm which worth $420 billion.

Jack Ma was an English teacher before starting Alibaba in 1999 and built it into a multi-billion dollar internet colossus, becoming one of the world's richest men and a revered figure in his homeland.

His own worth has soared along with that of the company, which was valued at $420.8 billion based on its share price at the close of trade on Friday.

The New York Times earlier reported that he plans to step down from the company to pursue philanthropy in education - on his 54th  birthday, referring to his departure as "the beginning of an era" rather than an end.

But that news was quickly rebutted after Ma gave an interview to the South China Morning Post in which he explained that he plans to gradually phase himself out of the company through a succession plan.

When reached for comment, Alibaba pointed TechCrunch to the SCMP report which claims Ma's strategy will "proved [leadership] transition plans over a significant period of time."

In order words, Ma isn't abruptly leaving the company, but it seems that his role will be gradually reduced over time. Alibaba confirmed he'll remain a part of the company while the succession plan is carried out. The exact details will be announced on Ma's birthday, September 10.

Ma who earlier gave up the title of CEO in 2013, said he now planned to devote his time and fortune to education.

According to the report released earlier on Friday, Ma hinted at his retirement plans, saying he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, one of the world's most prolific philanthropists.
There is a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates. I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier," he said.
I think some day, and soon, I'll go back to teaching," he said, adding he had been preparing philanthropy plans at his eponymous foundation for 10 years.

Jack Ma is part to a generation of billionaire entrepreneurs who made their fortunes as China embraced the digital age, creating some of the country's largest and most successful companies in the space of little more than a decade. 

Alibaba is China's largest online retail market, the company headquartered is in his hometown, allowing businesses to sell products to each other online.

It transformed how Chinese people shop and pay for things, especially through the new ubiquitous Alipay digital payment service.

The Alibaba empire now spans well beyond online retail and payments to include cloud computing, digital media, and entertainment with sterling revenue growth that jumped another 61 percent in the quarter ending June 30.

Ma is among China's richest men with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $38.6 billion.


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