Alibaba CEO Steps Down, Considers Himself Too Old to Run Internet Company

January 15, 2013 9:36 AM EST
Jack Ma, 48, founder of Alibaba Group, is stepping down as CEO. Ma hinted he might call it quits recently so the news isn't a surprise to many, but it does raise questions about leadership at the Chinese Internet company.

Ma said he would name an internal candidate as successor on May 10th, the day he plans to give up reins.

In a statement, the prominent China leader complained about his age, saying he was no longer 'young' for the Internet business:

"It's not because I wanted to take things easy (though the job of Alibaba CEO is no easy task), it's because I see that Alibaba's young people have better, more brilliant, dreams than mine, and they are more capable of building a future that belongs to them," he said.

Ma will transition to a new roll as Chairman.

Last year, Yahoo (Nasdaq: YHOO) and Alibaba struck a deal allowing the China company to buy back half of the stake owned by Yahoo. The deal allows Alibaba greater freedom to control its own fate. That fate, it seems, will be in the hands of an unknown youngster hand picked by Mr. Jack Ma.

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