Jack Ma to Hand Alibaba’s Helm to CEO Daniel Zhang Next Year

His retirement caps a 19-year run for Asia’s largest company

Alibaba is heralding the end of the Jack Ma era. A former English teacher who helped found Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. two decades ago, Ma outlined plans to hand the executive chairman role to Daniel Zhang, a finance veteran who’s presided over an ambitious expansion and won over investors in three years as chief executive officer.

Ma will officially pass the baton in exactly 12 months’ time, on his 55th birthday, but remain on the board until 2020. He now intends to focus on philanthropy and education but also pursue unspecified “new dreams,” he said in a statement Monday.

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