The co-founder and chairman of Alibaba Jack Ma told Bloomberg that he is establishing a foundation in his name focused on education as he plans to retire early. Jack Ma turns 54 on Monday and he is one of Forbes top 20 richest people in the world.
Ma also said he wants to follow in Bill Gates’ footsteps with regards to philanthropy. “There is a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates. I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier,” he added.
Jack Ma recently established a Netpreneur Prize for African entrepreneurs worth $10 million. The aim of the Prize is to promote innovation, inclusivity, and prosperity on the continent.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Ma’s net worth is over $40 billion.
The former English teacher said he is considering going back to teaching at some point. “This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba,” he said.
However, the billionaire did not disclose when he plans to retire and if he will put his money in a trust or give it away.
“You will know very soon. I have prepared a Jack Ma Foundation,” Ma asserted. “All these things I have been preparing for 10 years.”
Brock Silvers, managing director of Kaiyuan Capital said:
“When Jack Ma speaks longingly of retirement from Alibaba, there’s no reason not to take him at his word,” said Silvers. “On a day-to-day basis, Alibaba shareholders probably have little to fear should the charismatic Ma pull back a bit further.”
Once he retires, Jack Ma is confident that he will leave Alibaba in good hands.
Jack Ma launched Alibaba.com in 1999 with the support of 18 co-founders who contributed $60,000. The company now has a market value of over $400 billion and it has dipped its toes in online payments, Hollywood film production, and cloud computing.
As chairman of Alibaba, Ma has guided growth domestically and internationally and he has thrived in the world’s corporate limelight. Ma was also among the first foreign business leaders to meet President Donald Trump after his election.
The billionaire also hopes that his philanthropic work will bridge the gap between US and China.
“I have full confidence in my team and in the partner structure which lots of investors don’t like. It is the system which I think I have contributed to along with my team and this will be able to make the company last long,” he said.