Jack Ma, the Chinese business magnate and Alibaba’s co-founder, has addressed his company’s shareholders in an open letter as Alibaba’s executive chairman for the last time. In his letter, Ma reiterated his retirement plan. The role of chairman will be transitioned to Zhang in September next year. Ma pointed out that smooth leadership succession and culture continuity is the biggest challenge for any business. He said “As for myself, I will devote more time and effort to education, philanthropy and the environment.” wrote Ma, “While I will not allow myself sit idle, this time, I will be able to spend time on choosing interesting and meaningful causes that I can be passionate about.” Ma also restated Alibaba’s mission to “make it easy to do business anywhere”, especially “when it gets difficult to do business”.
He also added that Alibaba’s mission to make it easy to do business anywhere is precisely suited to the current environment, in which doing business is becoming harder.
Jack Ma founded Alibaba 19 years ago and has led the company’s growth into a global e-commerce giant with more than 600 million Chinese consumers using its ecosystem. After Alibaba, Ma, who has an estimated net worth of $33.2 billion, will spend time on philanthropy and education.