The richest man in China, Jack Ma, said he planned to retire this Monday from Alibaba, the $420 billion e-commerce company that he founded, according to an interview with the New York Times. His net worth is estimated at $40 billion.
Ma, a former English teacher, co-founded Alibaba in 1999. He turns 54 this coming Monday. His birthday also coincides with a the Chinese holiday of Teacher’s Day, which celebrates educators. Ma stepped down as Alibaba’s chief executive in 2013, but remained executive chairman.
In retirement, Ma said he will focus his time—and money—on education. Despite leaving day-to-day operations, Ma will remain on the board and mentor Alibaba’s management.
Alibaba started as a business-to-business marketplace, but had enormous growth when it started selling to consumers. It’s also one of the largest payment processors, with its Alipay…