Ayke Ezeani
by on September 11, 2019
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A tearful Jack Ma officially left Alibaba (BABA.N) on Tuesday, putting on a guitar and a rock star wig at an case for thousands of e-commerce gigantic staff that he established 20 years earlier in a tiny shared apartment in eastern China's Hangzhou town.

Alibaba's billionaire executive chairman delivered on his one-year-old commitment to hand over to CEO Daniel Zhang during a four-hour celebration in an 80,000-capacity stadium.

Costumed artists, some dubstep music dancing and dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, and singers paid homage to Ma's reputation for dressing up and performing at major events, entering a float parade representing Alibaba divisions such as Tmall shopping site and Ant Financial payment service.

“After tonight I will start a new life. I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities, and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early,” Ma told visitors and staff.

Ma was spotted with tears at one stage as employees put on skits and sang songs, prompting the theme "Jack Ma has cried" to trend on Weibo's Chinese social media platform.

At the end of the ceremony, Ma, co-founder Lucy Peng, and CEO of Alibaba's technology commission, Wang Juan, gave leather coats and wigs in the style of rock stars to perform Chinese pop songs. Co-founder Joe Tsai dressed in white dress in Marilyn Monroe fashion and a blonde wig joined them.

Zhang, also dressed in rock star garb, then performed a solo, having said previously that Alibaba would continue to invest in fields like cloud computing.

Ma's exit comes as Alibaba has grown into the most precious listed company in Asia, with $460 billion in market capitalization. It uses more than 100,000 individuals, expanding to include financial services, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

The firm also said it had adopted six fresh key principles on Tuesday, including a commitment to "respect each individual's work-life balance choices," a step away from Ma's latest remarks urging tech business staff to job nights and weekends, which sparked a nationwide discussion.

Ma also told participants that he hoped that Alibaba's shoulder would be more responsible for improving society in the wide-ranging changes brought about by technologies such as big data and 5G.

“It is not easy to be a strong company, but it is more difficult to be a good company,” he said. “A strong company is determined by its commercial ability, while a good company is responsible and kind.”

 

 

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