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Jack Ma steps down as Alibaba chairman

One of China’s richest men Jack Ma is stepping down as the head of Alibaba, one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies which he also co-founded 20 years ago.

In a report by The Guardian, Ma will celebrate his final day at the company as he holds his 55th birthday at an Olympic-sized sports stadium in Hangzhou after announcing his retirement last year.

Ma is set to be replaced by the company’s chief executive and an accountant by training Daniel Zhang.

Ma said in a video posted online: “I’m the person always looking forward. I don’t want to look at the things back.”

Ma who was a former English teacher earlier said that he will focus on philanthropy and education in rural areas.

Ma’s resignation came as China’s e-commerce industry has slowed, along with the broader economy. Alibaba has also faced more competition from other large tech firms. The company has expanded into financial services, mobile payments, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

“The thing I want this company to never forget – because we are at today’s size – a lot of companies, I learned why they fail. They forget about dreams. It’s the dreams that keep us working hard. Its dreams that keep us never afraid of mistakes … of setbacks,” said Ma.

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