Is Jack Ma retiring? SCMP vs New York Times

BY SILVI WRITER

 

Is Jack Ma retiring this week?

The South China Morning Post, which Alibaba owns, has taken on the New York Times and Bloomberg on Saturday.

Alibaba’s co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma said he planned to retire on Sept 10, which is also Teachers’ Day and his 54th birthday, the New York Times reported.

In an interview, Ma said his retirement is not the end of an era but “the beginning of an era.” He said he would be spending more of his time and fortune on education.

Ma will remain on Alibaba’s board of directors and continue to mentor the company’s management, the newspaper added.

Jack Ma hinted he would retire very soon in an interview with a Bloomberg TV journalist on Friday, by showing his passion to pursue philanthropy in education and environmental protection.

“Very soon. You will know that,” Ma said, when being asked about the exact time of retirement in the interview.

Ma also said there were a lot of things he could learn from Bill Gates, but there is one thing he could do better than Gates, who retired at the age of 58.

“I can never be as rich as Bill Gates but one thing I can do better than him. I can retire earlier than him. I can do something from the education field, (which) is unique, different and something in Jack Ma’s mind. I want to do something using my own way,” Ma said.

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A few hours later, the SCMP quoted an Alibaba spokesman, saying the New York Times’s report was “out of context” and “factually wrong”.

Jack Ma, who co-founded the world’s largest e-commerce platform, will unveil a succession strategy this week, part of a management plan 10 years in the making for grooming a generation of younger executives to take over the reins of Asia’s most valuable company, the SCMP reported.

Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding and public face of the technology juggernaut, will unveil the plan on September 10 on his 54th birthday.

An Alibaba spokesman said Ma remains the company’s executive chairman and will provide transition plans over a significant period of time, contrary to a New York Times article that said he was “stepping down” to “retire.”

The Times story was taken out of context, and factually wrong, the spokesman said.

According to Alibaba’s annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Ma is a lifetime member of the Alibaba Partnership, a group of 36 senior managers who are responsible for maintaining the mission and culture of Alibaba.

Who’s right and who’s wrong? Let’s see what will happen in two days.

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