Jack Ma, a former English teacher, is one of the richest men in China. The 49 year old entrepreneur is the mastermind behind Alibaba Group, a company that operates six of the most popular sites in China including Alibaba.com, Taobao Marketplace and Yahoo! China.
Reuters reports that Ma is resigning from his post to assume the slightly last demanding role of chairman. He will name a successor by May 10, along with replacements for most of his colleagues on the board of directors.
“As a founder CEO, stepping down … is a difficult decision. It’s not because I wanted to take things easy (though the job of Alibaba CEO is no easy task), it’s because I see that Alibaba’s young people have better, more brilliant, dreams than mine, and they are more capable of building a future that belongs to them,” Ma wrote in an e-mail to employees. Reuters obtained the letter on Tuesday from a source close to Alibaba.”
Ma broke the news just a week after his company announced that will separate its intermingled businesses to more than two dozen relatively independent subsidiaries.
Being one of the biggest web companies in China, Alibaba is growing like crazy. Yesterday CTO Zeng Ming even made a bold prediction that the firm will outsell Amazon and eBay this year, a significant forecast even though he admittedly reached it via a back of the envelope calculation.
The success of Alibaba ties in directly with the growing number of connected devices and active internet users in the nation. Understanding the younger user is now a top priority for every service provider that wishes to remain relevant, and Ma’s decision to bring fresh talent aboard marks the end of an era.