The Alibaba Group has formed an executive chairman succession plan, as company founder Jack Ma plans to transition out of the role.
The company said that one year from today, September 10, 2019, chief executive officer Daniel Zhang will succeed Ma as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group. Ma will continue as executive chairman of the company over the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition of the chairmanship to Zhang.
Ma will complete his current term as a member of Alibaba Group’s board of directors until its annual general meeting of shareholders in 2020. He is a lifetime partner in the Alibaba Partnership and is a member of its partnership committee. The Alibaba Partnership is currently comprised of 36 partners who are also members of senior management of Alibaba Group or its affiliates.
Ma, in a letter to Alibaba’s customers, employees and shareholders, said, “While remaining as executive chairman in the next 12 months, I will work closely with Daniel to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Thereafter, I will stay on the Alibaba board of directors until our annual shareholders meeting in 2020. This transition demonstrates that Alibaba has stepped up to the next level of corporate governance from a company that relies on individuals, to one built on systems of organizational excellence and a culture of talent development.”
He added, “Daniel has been with Alibaba Group for 11 years. Since he took over as CEO, he has demonstrated his superb talent, business acumen and determined leadership. Under his stewardship, Alibaba has seen consistent and sustainable growth for 13 consecutive quarters… Starting the process of passing the Alibaba torch to Daniel and his team is the right decision at the right time, because I know from working with them that they are ready, and I have complete confidence in our next generation of leaders.”