Jack Ma steps down as Chairman of Alibaba


Why did Jack Ma retire?

Jack Ma officially steps down as the chairman of Alibaba on September 10, 2019, on his birthday, and after 20 years since the company was founded. As of June 2019, he is one of China’s richest men, with a net -worth of $35.6 billion. He was ranked 21st in Forbes’ World’s Most Powerful People. Ma stated that he wants to focus on philanthropy through his foundation. He was formally an English teacher.

Who is the chairman of Alibaba

Ma first resigned as Alibaba’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in 2013 and was replaced by Jonathan Lu. In 2015, Daniel Zhang replaced Jonathan Lu. Daniel Zhang will officially take over Alibaba and serve as the chairman of the group after Ma.

Jack Ma, Executive Chairman, Alibaba Group Holding, People’s Republic of China; Member of the Board of Trustees, World Economic Forum, speaking during the session, Enabling eCommerce: Small Enterprises, Global Players, at the Annual Meeting 2018 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, January 24, 2018. Copyright by World Economic Forum / Ciaran McCrickard

“The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”

Jack Ma

What exactly is Alibaba

Alibaba is a well-known e-commerce giant in China and globally. It was founded on 4 April 1999 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China to connect Chinese exporters to American retailers.

As of 19 December 2018, Alibaba’s market cap stood at US$352.28 billion. It is one of the top 10 most valuable and biggest companies in the world. In January 2018, Alibaba became the second Asian company to break the US$500 billion valuation mark, after its competitor Tencent.

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Alibaba Business Model

Alibaba follows a combination of business models, unlike Amazon. Alibaba built an ecosystem that automatically scaled with success. As more buyers came to Alibaba, more manufacturers arrived. While attracting the global market, it also pulled Chinese customers.

How is Alibaba different from Amazon

While Amazon functions under one roof, Alibaba has three core businesses.

  • Alibaba (B2B)
  • Taobao (small business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer sales)
  • Tmall (B2C)

Anyway, Alibaba’s core business model resembles that of eBay. That is Alibaba acts as a middleman between buyers and sellers online and facilitates the sale of goods between the two parties through its extensive network of websites.

Why is Jack Ma popular

Besides Alibaba and its popularity, the founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma is more popular for his views towards an open and market-driven economy. Ma is seen as a prominent business figure around the world and a global ambassador for Chinese businesses.

He is considered as a Chinese business magnate, investor, politician, and philanthropist. He serves as a role model for startup businesses and a great motivational speaker. Besides being frequently listed as one of the world’s most powerful people by Forbes, in 2017, he was ranked second in the annual “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” list by Fortune.

In 2017, Ma made his acting debut with his first kung fu short film Gong Shou Dao.

Jack Ma motivation

Ma struggled a lot in his early life. He would ride 70 miles on his bicycle to give tourists tours of the area to practice his English for nine years. He graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in English.

Ma now 55, says he applied ten times to Harvard Business School and got rejected.

Ma applied for 30 different jobs and got rejected by all. “I went for a job with the police; they said, ‘you’re no good'”, Ma told interviewer Charlie Rose. “I even went to KFC when it came to my city. Twenty-four people went for the job. Twenty-three were accepted. I was the only guy …”.


Jack ma is indeed a role model not only for the business community but also for the younger generation. He showed the world how courage and dedication can change one’s life and the global economy as a whole. We are sure he will continue to strive and be an inspiration to all.

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