Jack Ma, the legendary founder/CEO and spiritual leader of Chinese ecommerce conglomerate Alibaba announced to step down as CEO of Alibaba by May 10th of this year, citing his “not young anymore” and “opening up room for the younger generations”. He’ll remain as chairman of the group though.
The announcement came after Alibaba’s latest restructure in which Alibaba was reorganized into 25 business units. The third time over a time span of about a year and a half. In June of 2011, Alibaba spun off Taobao into three independent entities including Taobao the marketplace (taobao.com), Taobao Mall (tmall.com) and Etao.com, aligned with other entities like Alipay and Aliyun. Then in last July, Mr. Ma reshuffled Alibaba’s subsidiaries to form seven business segments in a so-called “One Company” strategy which didn’t last long.
Mr. Ma said that the group would find a new CEO and announce the appointment on May 10th, also the 10th anniversary of Taobao.com.
Still Pulling Strings From Behind the Screen
Even resigning his post, 48-year-old Mr. Ma was thought to be keeping pulling the strings from behind the screen. He’d still map out important strategies and make big decisions for the company. The speculation was kinda confirmed by Alibaba PR director Yang Leilei’s response to media inquiries saying that “Mr. Ma will remain as chairman and make corporate-level strategies and decisions.”