Why Founder of Alibaba, Jack Ma Quits from 5 Subsidiaries & Plans to Retire on September 10?

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

Ma Yun a.k.a. Jack Ma is one of those self-made billionaires with humble beginnings. Jack Ma was born in Hangzhou, located in the south-eastern part of China. He was born and raised along with an elder brother and a younger sister during the rise of communist China and its isolation from the Western regions. His parents were traditional Musicians-Storytellers and they didn’t make enough to be even considered as middle class during those days. 

In his early childhood, Jack Ma failed in his Primary School examinations, not once, but two times. He failed thrice during his Middle School exams. When applying to universities after his High school, Jack failed the entrance exams thrice, before finally joining Hangzhou Normal University. He even applied and wrote to Harvard University 10 times about being admitted – and got rejected every time.

During and after his Bachelor’s degree Jack tried and failed to get a job at a multitude of places. After spending 3 years to get into a University he failed to get a job after applying for 30 times. He recollects in his interview, “When KFC came to China, 24 people went for the job.  23 people were accepted.  I was the only guy who wasn’t.”

Also, on his Entrepreneurial undertakings, Jack Ma went on to fail on two of his initial ventures. But that didn’t stop him in any way of dreaming bigger. 

Former US President Richard Nixon’s visit to Hangzhou in 1972 improved the situation of tourism in his home-town and Jack wanted to make the most of this opportunity. Jack always wanted to learn English as a child and he spent his early mornings riding on his bike to a nearby park, giving English tours to foreigners for free. It was then he met a foreign girl who gave him the nickname ‘Jack’ for his name was hard to spell for her. 

Jack, after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in English, worked as an English teacher at Hangzhou Dianzi University with a pay of $12 a month! Now here comes the part where it gets more interesting, even before he has received that degree and became an English teacher. 

Jack Ma, founder of Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group, left from his roles in five Alibaba subsidiaries on March 7. His plan is to retire in September. Ma quitted from Alibaba Software, Taobao Software, Alibaba Network Technology, Alibaba Education Technology and Alibaba Technology. 

According to an unnamed Alibaba spokesperson, the move is normal practice for technical and legal considerations, to help improve company governance and transparency. The spokesperson denied rumours that Ma would transfer Taobao shares and then quit from the company, noting that he never intended to do that. 

As announced in September 2018, Ma will relinquish the Alibaba Chairmanship on September 10, and CEO Daniel Zhang Yong will take over. 

Jack Ma hit pay dirt when his Chinese business-to-business start-up,, went public, in November. The offering raised more than $1.5 billion and gave the company a valuation of $26 billion. Ma, 43, grew up during China's Cultural Revolution. He taught himself English, then caught the Internet wave as China's economy opened in the 1990s. Today, Alibaba is China's largest B2B site and a favorite among American and European companies that are buying from Chinese suppliers. The site earned $39 million on revenue of $129 million in the first half of 2007. Ma has also taken Alibaba into search, through a joint venture with Yahoo and his Taobao online auction site has become bigger than eBay in China. 

Like this article?

Hey! I am Chander Mohan. Did you liked this article and have suggestions to improve this article? Mail me your suggestions and feedback.

Share your comments

Subscribe to our Newsletter. You choose the topics of your interest and we'll send you handpicked news and latest updates based on your choice.

Subscribe Newsletters