Jack Ma, the charismatic co-founder of China’s largest e-commerce firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, will step down as chairman in exactly one year on Sept 10, 2019, according to a statement from the company.

Ma is staying on as executive chairman for 12 months to ensure a smooth transition before handing over to CEO Daniel Zyang.

The Chinese billionaire is stepping down from his role to pursue philanthropy in education.

According to The New York Times, Ma will retire from his role on Monday when he turns 54. The date, September 10, is commemorated as Teacher’s Day in China. Ma will remain on Alibaba’s board of directors and continue to mentor the management.

Ma, a former English teacher, started the biggest e-commerce giant in China in 1999. He turned it into one of the world’s biggest e-commerce and digital payments companies, fuelling his own net worth to over USD 40 billion and becoming China’s richest man. 

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