Alibaba jumps after Chairman Jack Ma says he could retire earlier
Shares of Alibaba jumped more than 2% in early trading Friday after its Chairman Jack Ma told Bloomberg he may retire early from the Chinese e-commerce giant.
Ma is dedicating more of his time and money to building his foundation, following in the footsteps of the billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates, he told Bloomberg TV on Thursday. Gates stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000 and remained chairman of its board through 2014.
"There's a lot of things I can learn from Bill Gates," Ma told Bloomberg. "I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier. I think some day, and soon, I'll go back to teaching. This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba."
Ma used to be an English teacher before founding Alibaba, the largest e-commerce company in China. In 2014, the billionaire founded the Jack Ma Foundation with the purpose of improving China's education system, particularly in rural areas.
"Alibaba shareholders probably have little to fear should the charismatic Ma pull back a bit further," Brock Silvers, managing director of Kaiyuan Capital told Bloomberg. He added that Alibaba has one of the strongest management teams in corporate China and even if he quits, he would likely continue influencing the company's strategy.
Ma turns 54 on September 10 and is worth more than billion according to Bloomberg data.
Last month, Alibaba reported 61% first-quarter revenue growth, bolstered by its core e-commerce and fast-growing cloud-computing segments. The company reported earnings of 3.3 yuan per diluted share on 80.9 billion yuan in revenues, or about .8 billion, topping the 2.57 yuan and 80.88 billion yuan expected by analysts, according to Bloomberg data.
Video: Alibaba is 'business as usual' without Ma, says early investor
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