Alibaba CEO Ma resigning, paving way for new generation

Jack Ma will step down in May, but stay on as Chairman of the board

Financial trends and news by Steven Loeb
January 15, 2013
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2cee

Only a few days after announcing that it was going to be restructuring its entire company, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group has news that might just shake up the company even more.

Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, will be stepping down in May, it was announced Tuesday, though he said that he would remain as Chairman of the board.

In an e-mail to company employees, Ma called the decision to step down as CEO a "difficult decision, for this could be confounding especially for someone of my age who should be at the height of his career."

The 48 year old CEO added that he was "no longer 'young' for the Internet business" and that he wanted to make room for the next generation of Alibaba employees who are better equipped to manage and lead the company. 

No successor has been named at this time, but Ma assured his employees that one would be found.

”Don’t worry, we are confident that we will be able to announce a new CEO on May 10,” Ma wrote in the letter.

Ma, a former English teacher, was ranked as the 11th richest person in China, with an estimated net worth of $3.4 billion, by Forbes in October. He co-founded Alibaba in 1999 and grew the company into the biggest e-commerce website. In the first 11 months of 2012, Alibaba announced that it had $157 billion in combined sales on its Tmall and Taobao websites. 

Vator reached out to Alibaba to find out more, but it could not be reached for comment at this time. 

Other changes afoot at Alibaba

Last week, it was revealed that Alibaba would be splitting the business into 25 different divisions. Ma sent out a company-wide email, where he explained that the reason the company was taking this step to help its brands more quickly respond to competitive threats, as well as ensure that Alibaba Group takes advantage of rapid changes and developments in the e-commerce space.

Alibaba previously underwent a similar restructuring in July 2012, when it announced that it was going to be splitting into seven major business groups, in order to improve efficiency and share resources within the company.

Alibaba manages the Chinese arm of Yahoo, which paid $1 billion for its stake in Alibaba in 2005 and turned over control of Yahoo China. But Yahoo decided to sell back half of its 40% stake in the Chinese e-commerce company this past September, for a total of $7.6 billion. Yahoo still owns a sizable amount of the company’s stock, around 23%.

Jacqueline Reses, executive vice president of people and development at Yahoo, joined the board at Alibaba, it was announced in December. She joined Alibaba executives Ma and Joe Tsai, along with  SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, as one of the four members of the board.

(Image source: http://technology.inquirer.net)

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