Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Jack Ma's retirement: What it means for India

Jack Ma's retirement: What it means for India

The group has the ability to nominate the majority of directors on the company's board, and now five of Alibaba's eleven board members have been nominated by the partnership.

Corporate governance specialists also questioned the unusual structure of the Alibaba Partnership, which gives Ma and a group of executives more control over the company than shareholders. "Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time", Ma said in a letter released by the company.

He relinquished the role of chief executive in 2013.

That he speaks impeccable English despite being a Chinese comes from the fact that Jack Yun Ma, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, graduated from Hangzhou Teacher's Institute with a major in English and later became a teacher, imparting lessons in the same language.

"Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba", Mr. Ma said in the letter. "There's a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates".

India is a "very important" market for Alibaba in its global strategy, its Chief Executive Officer Daniel Zhang told IANS a year ago. Zhang, 46, has been in the job since 2015 after serving as chief operating officer and is known as a key architect of Alibaba's "Singles Day", the November 11 event that has become the world's largest online shopping event.

"Under his stewardship, Alibaba has seen consistent and sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters".

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The NYT report was quickly denied by Alibaba whose spokesman told the Post on Saturday that Mr. Ma remains the company's executive chairman and will provide transition plans over a significant period of time. "India is a very important market for us to look at", Zhang said. Mr Ma has lately taken on educational initiatives as a pet project.

Last year, he made his acting debut with his first kung fu short film Gong Shou Dao, in which he sparred with martial arts master Jet Li.

The Alibaba Partnership has 36 partners, who are the senior management of Alibaba Group or its affiliates. He has also established a scholarship program in Newcastle, Australia.

The CEO has proven a capable hand and Alibaba's stock has surged 87 percent over his tenure and now has a market value of about $420 billion, bigger than arch-foe and WeChat operator Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The charismatic Mr Ma, who is known for dressing like a rock star, said he wanted to return to education.

Alibaba also has investments in sports content, microchips and facial recognition technology and has been positioning itself as a serious player in cloud computing.

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