How Jack Ma smartly plans his succession – Shaun Rein

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Shaun Rein

Alibaba’s chairman Jack Ma has unveiled his eagerly awaited succession plan, including a transfer of power to the current CEO Daniel Zhang. A very smart move, says business analyst Shaun Rein, author of The War for China’s Wallet: Profiting from the New World Order to the Nikkei Asian Review.

Nikkei Asia Review.

Shaun Rein, managing director at China Market Research Group in Shanghai, said the announcement shows that Ma “is empowering Zhang and giving an orderly transition.” Rein called the move “very smart” because it “reduces uncertainty over who is in charge to make decisions” at the company. “Ma won’t loom over Zhang for years,” he said.

“This is the way to inform business partners and government officials that Daniel Zhang and other leaders are the right people to talk to because, right now, everybody wants to talk to Jack Ma,” Rein said.

“By doing this, he is empowering his successors, which is important because Alibaba has a really strong team and it’s time for them to take on more power as Alibaba has moved into other countries, like India, and moved into new divisions, like cloud computing and finance,” Rein said.

In his letter, Ma said he wants to return to education, “which excites me with so much blessing because this is what I love to do.” Ma graduated from Hangzhou Normal University in 1988 and continued to teach English there for several years.

More in the Nikkei Asia Review.

Shaun Rein is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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