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Now it's time to enjoy life, says Jack Ma

(China Daily)

10:24, May 11, 2013

Former Alibaba CEO Ma Yun (looking left) hugs his successor Lu Zhaoxi, also known as Jonathan Lu, in Hangzhou on Friday. Dong Xuming / For China Daily

Chinese Internet guru Ma Yun has a new career.

That is, to enjoy life, the 48-year-old, also known as Jack Ma, said on Friday as he officially stepped down as chief executive officer of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

From Saturday, Alibaba Chief Data Officer Jonathan Lu becomes the new chief executive. Ma remains chairman of Alibaba Group.

The move marks the first CEO handover among China's major Internet companies.

On a rainy night on Friday, and facing an audience of 35,000 at a Hangzhou sports stadium, Ma delivered his farewell speech.

"I have been expecting this day for years. I am proud of what I have done over the past 14 years of business. There are no regrets in my life," he said, adding that he will never return as Alibaba's CEO, as it is the younger generation's turn to shoulder responsibility.

"From tomorrow (Saturday), my career is to enjoy life. I will do things I am interested in, like education and environmental protection."

He called for action to realize a society with clean water, blue skies and safe food.

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