updated 06:03 pm EST, Tue January 15, 2013
Jack Ma steps down, says younger people have 'more brilliant dreams'
Jack Ma, chief executive officer of Chinese e-retail giant Alibaba, has announced that he will step aside from his current role with the company. Ma, under whose tenure Alibaba has become the second largest online company in China, says he will assume the role of executive chairman. Ma also says that most of Alibaba's leaders "born in the 1960s" will also be handing off their leadership responsibilities to younger Alibaba executives.
Elaborating on his decision, Reuters reports that Ma believes Alibaba's "young people have better, more brilliant dreams than mine, and they are more capable of building a future that belongs to them."
Ma is a former tour guide and English teacher, known by some as "China's Forrest Gump." He is said to be ready to name a successor by May 10, when he assumes the role of executive chairman.
Alibaba has seen considerable success as China's e-commerce sector has continued to grow. For the nine months ending in June, the company's net income increased to $781 million. That figure puts it ahead of Chinese search giant Baidu and behind only Tencent Holdings in terms of Internet companies.