Jack Ma Steps Down As Head Of Alibaba Group

Jack Ma is stepping down as Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE:BABA), China’s largest company.

Ma, a former English teacher, is leaving his post on his 55th birthday after creating a $41.8 billion U.S. fortune. His rise from a humble entrepreneur working out of his apartment back in 1999 to an e-commerce mogul is the stuff of legend. Today, Ma is one of Asia’s richest people with a personal fortune estimated at more than $40 billion U.S., according to a Bloomberg ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest individuals.

Over two decades, Ma built a business-to-business marketplace into a $460 billion U.S. titan that bested EBay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., operates one of the world’s largest cloud computing businesses, and runs a logistics network that delivers millions of parcels a day.

Ma will be succeeded by Daniel Zhang, a financial executive at Alibaba. Since Ma took over as Executive Chairman in 2013, Alibaba’s revenue has surged about 1,100% to 378.8 billion yuan ($56.2 billion U.S.). The company’s growth at one point spawned at least 10 other billionaires across its ecosystem.

Despite stepping down, Ma is expected to remain pivotal to Alibaba, a sprawling industrial machine with e-commerce at its centre.