Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba is to step down in September 2019. With just a year left, JackMa has penned down a letter to his employees, shareholders and customers. He pointed out that a company cannot be forever cradled by its founders and there’s a need to bring in proficient people to take over and let the company grow.
“No company can rely solely on its founders. Of all the people, I should know that. Because of physical limits on one’s ability and energy, no one can shoulder the responsibilities of chairman and CEO forever, so the responsible thing to do for me and the company to do is to let younger, more talented people take over,” Ma wrote.
The charismatic Jack Ma wanted to return to education saying that, "The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things.” He further adds that he has plans to continue his role as founding partner. He had earlier appreciated Daniel Zhang since taking over as the CEO.
19 years since its inception in a small apartment in Hangzhou, the Chinese company has unfolded itself into one of the most diverse and valuable corporations in the world. Today, Alibaba is competing on a global scale against players like Google, Amazon, PayPal, and eBay. In several aspects, it has managed to outperform and go beyond its American counterparts.
"The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba,” he wrote in the letter.
India can learn a few things from the success of the global player and leadership of the man who mentored it. There is very less scope in the Indian Industrial sector to identify and prepare new individuals to replace the old leaders. The reason for it could be because the CEO’s don’t release the power easily or choose their kids for the role thereby discarding young talented individuals, probably with better skills and experience, to take over. Time and again, the Indian Industry has seen clashes resulting out of family feud or leadership.
With Jack Ma’s exit in a year, Indian leaders should consider following a dignified path whilst departing and should explore best people for operating the company.