(Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s <BABA.N> co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma will retire from the e-commerce company on Monday, as the former English teacher seeks to focus on philanthropy in education, the New York Times reported.
Ma, one of China’s best known corporate leaders, will remain on the company’s board of directors and continue to mentor the company’s management, the New York Times said on Friday.
Alibaba was not available for comment outside business hours.
Ma, the third-richest person in China, according to Forbes’ billionaire list of 2017, was quoted as telling the New York Times his retirement is not the end of an era but “the beginning of an era.”
Alibaba, which was founded by 18 people led by Ma, now has more than 66,000 full-time employees, according to the company’s latest annual filing.
Ma, who also turns 54 on Monday, retired as the chief executive officer of Alibaba Group in 2013.
The company, China’s biggest e-commerce firm, had a market value of about $420 billion (325.10 billion pounds)as of Friday’s close.
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman)