Alibaba Group Holding Limited has today announced that Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang will succeed Jack Ma as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group. According to the announcement, 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.
The billionaire entrepreneur, Jack Ma, co-founded Alibaba close to two decades ago and he has seen the company grow exponentially over the last number of years. Alibaba has grown to dominate the market in China, while also attracting plenty of attention from abroad.
In a letter he wrote to the company board, Jack Ma said he would be handing the role over to Daniel Zhang in exactly 12 months’ time, but he will remain on the company board until 2020. According to the statement from the outgoing chair, he intends to focus more on his philanthropic and educational efforts.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Jack Ma is China’s richest man with a net worth of more than $40bn. He spoke about the changes coming in the next year: “Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time because I know from working with them that they are ready.”
Back in 2013, Jack Ma gave up his title of CEO in 2013 to focus on other duties.
On Daniel Zhang, Jack Ma said “Zhang is a superb talent” with a strong business acumen and “determined leadership”. Zhang has been part of Alibaba since 2007 when he joined Taobao Marketplace, the online retail platform; He has so far helped Alibaba turn Singles’ Day into an e-commerce cornerstone in China, as well as creating a more diverse business model, melding messaging, online retail and cloud computing.