Chairman and founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma, steps down from the company today to spend time with family.
Ma founded Alibaba in 1999 as a trading platform for businesses, expanding to consumer ecommerce in 2003.
The company is currently valued at $480bn and Ma retires as China’s richest man, with a net worth of $38.6bn.
He is succeeded by current chief executive Daniel Zhang.
What does this mean?
Ma leaves the company at a turbulent time for Chinese ecommerce, with the domestic market slowing down and the US placing Chinese imports under scrutiny. Zhang’s biggest challenge, however, may simply be in replacing a man whose success was largely put down to charm and personality.