Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma made a rather shocking announcement on Tuesday concerning his plans to relinquish his position as CEO, as he had the idea of retirement playing about his mind for a while already. In fact, in June last year, Ma informed journalist Bruce Einhorn and his colleague Frederik Balfour, “Some day Jack Ma is going to retire—maybe not very long [from now]. Life is so short. I don’t want to be 80 years old and still running this company.”

Ma is still very young by CEO standards, considering how he has just turned 48 last year, but in his announcement on the Alizila website, Ma mentioned, “Stepping down as CEO is a difficult decision, for this could be confounding especially for someone of my age who should be at the height of his career. At 48 I am no longer ‘young’ for the Internet business.”

Ma will remain as executive chairman after stepping down, and in his own words, will “focus his attention on setting strategic direction, helping to develop managerial talent within the company’s ranks, and strengthening Alibaba’s social-responsibility efforts.”

So the circle of life continues…

Filed in General. Read more about Alibaba.

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