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Alibaba founder Jack Ma to retire as CEO, remains chairman


08:43, January 16, 2013

Photo taken on Sept. 10, 2012 shows Jack Ma, CEO and chairman of the board of directors of the world's largest e-commerce group Alibaba, delivers a speech at the closing ceremony of the 9th Netrepreneur Summit in Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province. Ma announed on Tuesday in an e-mail to Alibaba employees that he would step down step from this CEO post on May 10 but will continue to serve as chairman. . (Xinhua/Huang Zongzhi)

HANGZHOU, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- Jack Ma, founder of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said Tuesday that he will step down from this CEO post on May 10 but will continue to serve as chairman.

In a letter e-mailed to company employees, Ma said that in the next few years, he will mainly be responsible for making strategic decisions for the board of directors.

Ma said he will assist the new CEO in nurturing organizational culture, cultivating talent and working with staff to improve the company's public welfare.

The retirement came a week after Alibaba announced that it would be divided into 25 separate business units, the largest restructuring since its establishment in 1999. After the re-organization, the board will be in charge of strategizing, while the CEO will be responsible for carrying out their strategies.

The new CEO will be named on May 10. The day marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of, the country's largest online shopping site.

The Internet belongs to the young, he said in the letter.

"For the founder, it is not an easy decision to step down as CEO, as this can easily cause misunderstandings," he said.

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