Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma, will retire a year from now

Jack Ma made it official Monday morning, announcing that he plans to step down as executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, a year from now.

Ma plans to concentrate on philanthropy and education. Ma is a fomrer English teacher.

Ma will pass the reins to trusted lieutenant Daniel Zhang.

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Ma co-founded Alibaba in 1999. It grew into one of the world’s largest online retailers, earning it comparisons to U.S.-based Amazon. Alibaba made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014, which remains the largest initial public offering (IPO) in history. The company had a market value of around $420 billion as of Friday.

Ma will give up the chairman role on Sept. 10, 2019 and complete his current term on Alibaba's board of directors following the company's annual general meeting in 2020, the company said. He relinquished the role of chief executive in 2013.

Shares dropped more than 2 percent on Friday, following the report of Ma’s impending retirement.

Ma, 53, is also China’s wealthiest individual. Ma’s net worth is $39.9 billion, according to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. He ranks No. 19 among the world’s richest people, not far behind Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

This story has been updated.