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Jack Ma officially retires as Alibabas chairman

Jack Ma stepped down as Alibabas chairman today, handing the role over to the companys current CEO Daniel Zhang. The transition was announced a year ago.
Ma will continue serving on Alibabas board until its annual general shareholders meeting next year. He also remains a lifetime partner of Alibaba Partnership, a group drawn from the senior management ranks of Alibaba Group companies and affiliates that has the right to nominate (and in some situations, appoint) up to simple majority of its board.
Ma said in last years announcement that he plans for his departure from Alibaba Group to be very gradual: The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.
Ma left Alibabas CEO position in 2013 and was succeeded first by Jonathan Lu. In 2015 Lu was replaced by Zhang, the companys former COO. As its CEO and now its chairman, Zhang has taken Alibabas reins as it copes with a slowdown in Chinas e-commerce market after a decade of explosive growth. The online retail landscape also now includes new players like Pinduoduo, which have gained an advantage by focusing on smaller cities, important growth markets for Internet companies.
One interesting fact about the day Ma chose for his retirement as chairman is that it is Teachers Day in China. Ma is a former English teacher who is still nicknamed Teacher Ma and has said that he plans to devote time to education philanthropy.
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