Jack Ma, one of the richest men in China, announced last week that he will step down from the company he founded to focus on philanthropy. Today, he announced this transition will happen within the next year and that he will hand his chairman role to Daniel Zhang, currently Alibaba's chief executive.
A former educator, Ma made this most recent announcement Monday — the day that marks his 54th birthday and a national Chinese holiday known as Teacher's day. Ma reportedly is known as "Teacher Ma" within Alibaba.
"I think education is so critical for the future," Ma said last week. "I learned so much from the Alibaba journey in the past 19 years, it's my responsibility to share."
"I miss teaching very much. I came to the business field by accident," continued Ma, a man who was rejected from more than 30 jobs after college, including a job at KFC, in the years before starting Alibaba. "I think some day, very soon, I will go back to teaching and education. This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba."