Jack Ma has announced his plans to retire from his brainchild company, China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba, the New York Times reports. The tycoon may switch to education and philanthropy instead.
China’s richest man is going step down as executive chairman of the $420-billion Alibaba Group on Monday when he turns 54, he said in an interview with the NYT. However, he will remain on Alibaba’s board of directors and mentor the company’s management.
Ma said the move will be “the beginning of an era” and revealed that he may now focus on education, which he “loves.” It is symbolically significant that his reported retirement coincides with Teachers’ Day in China, and Ma used to teach English before becoming a business magnate.
The Alibaba founder had revealed his passion for philanthropy and hinted at his plans for life after quitting business when he spoke to Bloomberg earlier this week. Ma, whose Chinese name is Ma Yun, said he might start a foundation of his own, like Bill Gates. However, in contrast to the American magnate, he wants to “retire earlier.” Ma even believes that he can “do much better” at teaching than he did as CEO of Alibaba.