Jack Ma steps down from Alibaba divisions in ‘goodwill’ move

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has stepped back from active roles in five subsidiary companies as he prepares to hand over executive chairmanship of the company in September.

Management of Alibaba say the moves were intended to improve the firm’s governance and administrative transparency.

According to a report in the Asia Times, Ma has exited Alibaba’s Technology, Education Technology, Taobao Software, Network Technology, and Software departments.

Stepping away from the business divisions was signalled before Ma announced last September his intention to resign as executive chairman and officials say the latest move is normal industry practice.

One commentator described the step as “goodwill” and encouraging transparency when he is no longer active in Alibaba on a day to day basis.

In an interview last September with the South China Morning Post, which Ma owns, he said relinquishing the executive chairmanship was “not about retiring, stepping away, or backing off”. “This is a systematic plan,” he said.

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