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Jack Ma says goodbye to Alibaba on his 55th birthday

Jack Ma says goodbye to Alibaba on his 55th birthday
Jack Ma, the self-made Chinese business magnate with a net worth of nearly $42 billion and founder of the online shopping giant Alibaba, has officially retired from the company he started.

The billionaire, who announced his retirement as chairman of the company last September, fulfilled his pledge to step down on his 55th birthday on Tuesday. Ma’s departure also coincides with Alibaba’s 20th anniversary.

The entrepreneur, whose Chinese name is Ma Yun, is one of China’s most famous public figures. He hands over the reins to Alibaba’s chief executive Daniel Zhang.

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However, Ma will not cut all ties with the company he turned into a $462 billion e-commerce giant from its modest beginnings as a small start-up in his apartment in Hangzhou. He will stay on the firm’s board of directors for around a year.

The businessman will also continue mentoring the company’s management as he remains a lifetime partner in a corporate governing body called Alibaba Partnership, which has the right to nominate directors to the company’s board.

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When announcing his retirement plans a year ago, Ma himself described the end of his reign as “the beginning of an era.” The billionaire earlier revealed that he wants to devote himself to philanthropy as some of the world’s other famous billionaires do.

“I will learn from Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and a lot of great philanthropists in the world, but I want to do something using my own way,” Ma told Bloomberg last year. “I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier.”

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