Jack Ma, the former English teacher who built one of the world’s most influential e-commerce businesses, said he will step down as Alibaba’s executive chairman next week to focus on philanthropy, the New York Times reported.
Alibaba shaped how the Chinese people shop and make purchases, and made Ma the richest man in the world’s most populous country. His net worth is estimated at $40 billion.
Ma is retiring at a time internet companies like Alibaba have fallen under tighter government scrutiny, as the industry plays an increasingly important role in the country’s economy. He is the first among a generation of Chinese internet entrepreneurs to leave the companies they’ve founded.