Beijing : Alibaba co-founder and chairman Jack Ma plans to retire from the Chinese e-commerce giant on Monday to devote his time to philanthropy focused on education, he told the New York Times in an interview. Ma was an English teacher before starting Alibaba in 1999 and built it into a multibillion-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 USD 420.8 billion based on its share price at the close of trade on Friday.
Ma told The New York Times that he plans to step down from the company on Monday — his 54th birthday — referring to his departure as “the beginning of an era” rather than an end. Ma, who gave up the title of CEO in 2013, said he now planned to devote his time and fortune to education. The way he chose to make the announcement was unusual.
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.