Jack Ma
Vianney Le Caer/REX/Shutterstock

Alibaba Group


Executive Chairman

From KFC reject to one of the first businessmen to meet with president-elect Donald Trump, Ma has come a long way since co-founding Alibaba in his Hangzhou, China, apartment. Today the once fledgling business has diversified into retail, finance and cloud computing, and Ma has remained the company’s lightning rod, chief strategist and top diplomat. He kicked the tires of Hollywood studios and might have bought one — a stake in Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners was as far as he went — but instead refocused Alibaba’s entertainment empire closer to home, with stakes in all of China’s major studios and key positions in streaming, online ticketing and big data. The 54-year-old is set to retire from the chairmanship in 2019 but remain on Alibaba’s board.


  • Alibaba Pictures Group
  • World Economic Forum


  • Hangzhou Normal University (China)
  • Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business (Beijing, China)

Variety Honors

  • 2017 Variety500 Honoree
  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
  • Dealmaker's Impact
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News from Variety

Jack Ma Confirms Alibaba Reshuffle and Succession Plan

Jack Ma Confirms Alibaba Reshuffle and Succession Plan

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has confirmed Jack Ma’s plan to step down as chairman. He will be replaced by current CEO Daniel Zhang in September next year.Rumors of the retirement of the 54-year-old Ma surfaced late last week in Chinese business media and were all but confirmed by Ma in an interview with The New York Times. The move failed to shake the company’s stock, as Alibaba is one of the rarer Chinese companies to have made clear succession plans...


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