On the occasion of his 54th birthday (September 10), Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma announced his retirement as chairman of the company.
In a letter sent to customers, employees, and shareholders, Ma explained that in exactly one year, on September 10, 2019—which is also Alibaba’s 20th anniversary—Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang will replace him as chairman of the board. Ma will remain on the board of directors until the company’s annual shareholders meeting in 2020.
So who is Zhang, Ma’s replacement?
Zhang has served as CEO of Alibaba since 2015 and worked at the Alibaba Group more broadly for 11 years. Ma expressed confidence in his CEO, writing that “the company has run smoothly for five years on the back of these institutional ingredients,” and highlighting that China’s business news media named him the top CEO of 2018.
Zhang is a Shanghai-educated certified accountant. He joined Taobao, an e-commerce site…