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Jack Ma Did Not Step Down, He Did A Transition in Alibaba

A spokesman of Alibaba said, “Jack Ma will remain the executive chairman and will have a transition plan for a significant period of time.”

On Alibaba’s 19th anniversary, Jack Ma announced through the letter that he made, that group CEO Daniel Zhang will displace his position as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group in one year from today on September 10, 2019, which also falls on Alibaba’s 20th anniversary. This has been approved by the board of directors.

Jack Ma did a movement that make many people stunned, because what Ma did is rare as China tycoons usually remain at the top of their organization rather than step aside in their 50s.

Thereafter, Jack Ma will continue to work closely with Daniel to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Following in the next 12 months, he will remain on the Alibaba board of directors until annual shareholder meeting in 2020.

Alibaba was founded in 1999 with the goal to build a company could make China and the world proud, and also one that could cross three centuries to last 102 years. However, we all knew that no one can stay and it seems like not possible with the company for 102 years. For the business sustainability, Alibaba would have to built on sound governance, culture-centric philosophy, and consistency in developing talent.

This was the question that Alibaba asked for 10 years ago – how could Alibaba achieve sustainable growth after Jack Ma leaves the company? Because there are no company can rely on its founders. Physical limitations on ability and energy that affect them. Therefore, we believed that to solve the problem of corporate leadership succession was to develop a system of governance based on a unique culture and mechanisms for developing consistent talent and successors, and these have been kept working on for the last 10 years.

Jack Ma wrote letter for his staff and shareholders said, “I feel extremely proud of what I have achieved. Teachers always want their students to exceed them so the responsible thing to do for me and the company to do is to let younger, more talented people take over in leadership roles so that they inherit our mission ‘to make it easy to do business anywhere’.”

This move was a complements to the transition in power which was Ma arranged after resigning as CEO in 2013. He will also create a foundation focused on education, like Microsoft co-founder and former CEO, Bill Gates.

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

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