“Exit” of Jack Ma: What Can We Learn From Alibaba’s Succession Planning?

“Exit” of Jack Ma: What Can We Learn From Alibaba’s Succession Planning?

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  • Teaching Notes
Abstract

Founded in February 1999, Alibaba started off as a business-to-business e-commerce marketplace helping small Chinese exporters, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs to sell products and services internationally. Since then, the company has expanded into a USD 420 billion juggernaut offering online wholesale and retail marketplaces, cashless payments, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, digital media and entertainment, and innovation initiatives. In a fast-moving and highly competitive business environment, it is of the utmost importance for Alibaba to continuously reinvent and redefine its business models. To pave the way for younger individuals to take over the company’s leadership roles, Jack Ma, the lead co-founder of Alibaba, removed himself from the position of chief executive officer on May 10, 2013, at the age of 49, but he remains as chairman until ...

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