A New York Times report announced Alibaba founder Jack Ma retirement was imminent and that he had decided to “stepdown”, but it appears it might have been a bit ahead of time as the South China Morning Post refutes the story. It might not be time for a Jack Ma retirement, but he is to unveil a succession plan to take Alibaba forward when he does eventually go. He will unveil the plan on the 10th of September on his 54th birthday.
Jack Ma has already set a goal for Alibaba to last long past his lifetime with the goal of seeing it’s 102 year anniversary. Having been founded in 1999, the 102 year goal, if achieved, will see Alibaba trade through the 2000s and still be going strong in 2101 to span three centuries. The aim is to build a business that lasts, not a business to be sold on some future date.
In some ways, Jack Ma has already retired having stepped down as Chief Executive in 2013, a position which is now held by Daniel Zhang. Jack Ma remains as Alibaba’s co-founder and Executive Chairman but has already distanced himself from operational matters and the daily management.
Philanthropy is an interest for the future, with announcements such as the $10 Africa Netpreneur Prize being driven by Jack Ma. His other interests being education and the environment and doubtless more news will be forthcoming as his succession plan takes place.