SHANGAI: Alibaba’s Chairman, the legendary Jack Ma will be stepping down during next week, However, the start-up he had created, escalated and became an online retail giant.
According to all expectations it will keep on to thrive into a new dawn due to an innovative culture he helped to nurture.
Ma will leave officially, when he is celebrating his 55th birthday on Tuesday. He was an English teacher whose cheerful image smashed that of the stereotypical dull Chinese executive.
Ma, with an immense fortune of $41 billion, one of China’s largest, is planning to invest into education, his first love, similar to Bill Gates, who he admires.
When charismatic founders of large tech companies resign or step down, it usually causes wobbling share prices and hand-wringing, which is not the case at Alibaba.
The operational reins of the company, were for a few years been handled by an esteemed executive team, who successfully kept Alibaba on the cutting edge of e-commerce.
Jack Ma was the driving force behind Alibaba and oftenly the company’s saucy ambassador. Two years ago during an anniversary celebration of Alibaba he danced like Michael Jackson! He also starred in a short kung fu film of his own.
According to expectations, Ma will retain certain advisory functions.
Jeffrey Towson, a professor associated with the Peking University & an equity investor said the transition from Ma to people of stature like Daniel Zhang, the CEO & executive vice chairman & co-founder, Joseph Tsai, may be proving to be the golden standard for the succession of technology companies.
Towson added that Ma succeeded where Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo, failed because they made themselves redundant.
According to Towson, also an author of books about leading Chinese companies, stated that Ma has created a real powerful culture at Alibaba, whilst they are still great innovators.
Ma, who was a low on cash, Chinese entrepreneur got $60,000 from friends after he convinced them. He started Alibaba during 1999, in the city of Hangzhou.
Now, with over 750 billion active users, on a monthly basis, Alibaba assisted in unlocking the massive Chinese consumer power. Coinciding, the Chinese government’s main objective today, is looking to fuel its domestic demand, whilst lessening its reliance on the volatile foreign trade.
Alibaba’s platforms, Tmall & Taobao have assisted numerous enterprises to grow.
According to Cheng Huibao, a furniture manufacturer, Jack Ma was the driving force behind the development of the Chinese internet economy and industry. He dubbed him the entrepreneurial godfather of China.
The 30-year old Cheng, is a small businessman, frequently located in what is called ‘Taobao village’. These communities’ economies are geared towards the vast market of Alibaba. These businessmen jumped into commerce, due to the company.
Cheng began manufacturing bunk beds during 2010, with 10 employees in the Jiangsu province. Currently, his thriving business has 100 employees. He stated that without Ma as his teacher, he would not have his own business.
As with all things, there were criticism. Alibaba and its replicators are being accused of promoting uncontrolled commercialism & materialism, whilst selling counterfeit products.
Currently the Chinese e-commerce produces enormous amounts of packaging material, which contributes to the national garbage problem which is on the rise.
Certain comments of Ma, have drawn accusations when he recently rejected concerns that Chinese employees were working excessive hours. The previous year he was accused of being a member of the Chinese Communist Party.
Despite all, Alibaba is continuously expanding its ecosystem by pushing into entertainment, cloud computing as well as a concept of ‘new retail’, where online ordering is combined with stores made of bricks and mortar. Meanwhile its finance unit, Alipay has introduced cashless digital payments.
Besides the American trade war and a slowdown in China’s economic growth, the company’s earnings remained strong, thus far.
A ‘namesake’ charitable organization was established by Jack Ma, whilst a variety of education initiatives were launched already.
During August, at a tech debate with Elon Musk in Shanghai, Ma outlined his motto to go forward, whilst in a good-humored way he chided Musk about his obsession to put a human on Mars.
Ma said, that a hero like Musk is required and additionally more heroes like them are needed to improve things on Earth.