According to The New York Times, Alibaba's co-founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma, is stepping down from the Chinese e-commerce giant on Monday (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) to pursue philanthropy in education. From the report: A former English teacher, Mr. Ma started Alibaba in 1999 and built it into one of the world's most consequential e-commerce and digital payments companies, transforming how Chinese people shop and pay for things. That fueled his net worth to more than $40 billion, making him China's richest man. He is revered by many Chinese, some of whom have put his portrait in their homes to worship in the same way that they worship the God of Wealth. In an interview, Mr. Ma said his retirement is not the end of an era but "the beginning of an era." He said he would be spending more of his time and fortune focused on education. "I love education," he said. Mr. Ma will remain on Alibaba's board of directors and continue to mentor the company's management. Mr. Ma turns 54 on Monday, which is also a holiday in China known as Teacher's Day. The retirement makes Mr. Ma one of the first founders among a generation of prominent Chinese internet entrepreneurs to step down from their companies.
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