“Today, as we mark the 19th anniversary of Alibaba, I am excited to share some news with you: with the approval of our board of directors, one year from today on September 10, 2019 which also falls on Alibaba’s 20th anniversary, Group CEO Daniel Zhang will succeed me as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group,” said Ma.
“While remaining as executive chairman in the next 12 months, I will work closely with Daniel to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Thereafter, I will stay on the Alibaba board of directors until our annual shareholders meeting in 2020.”
The Chinese online company said in a statement Ma will still continue as the executive chairman for the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition. He will complete his current term as a member of Alibaba Group’s board of directors until its annual general meeting of shareholders in 2020.
“I have put a lot of thought and preparation into this succession plan for 10 years. I am delighted to announce the plan today thanks to the support of the Alibaba Partnership and our board of directors,” added Ma.
“Since the founding of the company in 1999, we have been of the view that Alibaba’s future will need to depend on ‘droves of talent’ to enable us to iterate on our management succession plans. After years of hard work, today’s Alibaba has a world-class talent pool in quality and quantity. The teacher in me feels extremely proud of our team, our leadership and our unique mission-driven culture, as well as the fact that we continue to develop exceptional business leaders and professional talent like Daniel Zhang.”
Zhang has been with Alibaba Group for 11 years. Ma said under Zhang’s leadership, the company had a sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters. He further added that Zhang has an analytical mind, embraces responsibility with passion and has the guts to innovate and test creative business models. Ma said his successor has gained the trust of Alibaba’s employees, shareholders and customers.
Ma is planning to return to education, where he first started early on in his career. He will still be continuing his role as the founding partner in the Alibaba Partnership.