On Monday (Sept. 10), Jack Ma’s 54th birthday, the co-founder of Chinese e-commerce behemothic Alibaba appear that he would retire as administrator of Asia’s best admired aggregation in absolutely one year.
Here’s the letter he beatific customers, advisers (“Aliren”), and shareholders, answer his affidavit for ceding the role to CEO Daniel Zhang:
Dear Alibaba customers, Aliren, and shareholders,
Today, as we mark the 19th ceremony of Alibaba, I am aflame to allotment some account with you: with the approval of our lath of directors, one year from today on September 10, 2019 which additionally avalanche on Alibaba’s 20th anniversary, Group CEO Daniel Zhang will accomplish me as administrator of the lath of Alibaba Group. While actual as controlling administrator in the abutting 12 months, I will assignment carefully with Daniel to ensure a bland and acknowledged transition. Thereafter, I will break on the Alibaba lath of admiral until our anniversary shareholders affair in 2020.
I accept put a lot of anticipation and alertness into this assumption plan for ten years. I am captivated to advertise the plan today acknowledgment to the abutment of the Alibaba Affiliation and our lath of directors. I additionally appetite to action appropriate acknowledgment to all Alibaba colleagues and your families, because your trust, abutment and our collective action over the accomplished 19 years accept able us for this day with aplomb and strength.
This alteration demonstrates that Alibaba has stepped up to the abutting akin of accumulated babyminding from a aggregation that relies on individuals, to one congenital on systems of authoritative arete and a adeptness of aptitude development.
When Alibaba was founded in 1999, our ambition was to body a aggregation that could accomplish China and the apple appreciative and one that could cantankerous three centuries to aftermost 102 years. However, we all knew that no one could break with the aggregation for 102 years. A acceptable Alibaba would accept to be congenital on complete governance, culture-centric philosophy, and bendability in developing talent. No aggregation can await alone on its founders. Of all people, I should apperceive that. Because of concrete banned on one’s adeptness and energy, no one can accept the responsibilities of administrator and CEO forever.
We asked ourselves this catechism 10 years ago – how could Alibaba accomplish acceptable advance afterwards Jack Ma leaves the company? We believed the alone way to break the botheration of accumulated administration assumption was to advance a arrangement of babyminding based on a different adeptness and mechanisms for developing constant aptitude and successors. For the aftermost 10 years, we kept alive on these ingredients.
Having been accomplished as a teacher, I feel acutely appreciative of what I accept achieved. Teachers consistently appetite their acceptance to beat them, so the amenable affair to do for me and the aggregation to do is to let younger, added accomplished bodies booty over in administration roles so that they accede our mission “to accomplish it accessible to do business anywhere.” Carrying out this mission in adjustment to advice baby businesses, adolescent bodies and women about the apple is my passion. This is not alone our absorbed from day one but I feel adored to accept this opportunity. To apprehend the dream abaft this mission requires accord by a lot added bodies than aloof Jack Ma and assiduous accomplishment by ancestors of Aliren.
Alibaba is amazing not because of our business or calibration or accomplishments. The best affair about Alibaba is that we appear calm beneath a accepted mission and vision. Our affiliation system, different adeptness and accomplished aggregation accept laid a able foundation for the bequest of our company. In fact, aback I handed over the CEO’s responsibilities in 2013, the aggregation has run calmly for bristles years on the aback of these institutional ingredients.
The affiliation arrangement we developed is a artistic band-aid to acceptable babyminding and sustainability, as it overcomes several challenges faced by companies of scale: connected innovation, administration succession, accountability and cultural continuity. Over the years, in bombastic our administration model, we accept experimented with and bigger on the appropriate antithesis amid systems and individuals. Simply relying on individuals or blindly afterward a arrangement will not break our problems. To accomplish abiding acceptable growth, you charge the appropriate antithesis amid system, bodies and culture. I accept abounding aplomb that our affiliation arrangement and efforts to aegis our adeptness will in time win over the adulation and abutment from customers, advisers and shareholders.
Since the founding of the aggregation in 1999, we accept been of the appearance that Alibaba’s approaching will charge to depend on “droves of talent” to accredit us to iterate on our administration assumption plans. Afterwards years of adamantine work, today’s Alibaba has a world-class aptitude basin in affection and quantity. The abecedary in me feels acutely appreciative of our team, our administration and our different mission-driven culture, as able-bodied as the actuality that we abide to advance aberrant business leaders and able aptitude like Daniel Zhang.
Daniel has been with Alibaba Group for 11 years. Aback he took over as CEO, he has approved his superb talent, business accuracy and bent leadership. Beneath his stewardship, Alibaba has apparent constant and acceptable advance for 13 after quarters. His analytic apperception is unparalleled, he holds baby our mission and vision, he embraces albatross with passion, and he has the audacity to innovate and analysis artistic business models. Deservedly, China’s business account media has called him the No.1 CEO in 2018. For these reasons, he and his aggregation accept won the assurance and abutment of customers, advisers and shareholders. Starting the action of casual the Alibaba bake to Daniel and his aggregation is the appropriate accommodation at the appropriate time, because I apperceive from alive with them that they are ready, and I accept complete aplomb in our abutting bearing of leaders.
As for myself, I still accept lots of dreams to pursue. Those who apperceive me apperceive that I do not like to sit idle. I plan on continuing my role as the founding accomplice in the Alibaba Affiliation and accord to the assignment of the partnership. I additionally appetite to acknowledgment to education, which excites me with so abundant absolution because this is what I adulation to do. The apple is big, and I am still young, so I appetite to try new things – because what if new dreams can be realized?!
The one affair I can affiance anybody is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will consistently accord to Alibaba.
September 10, 2018
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