Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) shares dipped on Monday after the Chinese e-commerce giant announced a succession plan for its founder and executive chair, Jack Ma.
The company announced that one year from today, September 10, 2019, CEO Daniel Zhang will succeed Ma as the board chair. However, Ma will continue as executive chair of the company over the next 12 months to ensure a smooth transition of the position to Zhang.
Also Ma will complete his current term as a member of Alibaba Group’s board of directors until its annual general meeting of shareholders in 2020.
In a letter, Jack Ma expounded:
Today, as we mark the 19th anniversary of Alibaba, I am excited to share some news with you: with the approval of our board of directors, one year from today on September 10, 2019 which also falls on Alibaba’s 20th anniversary, Group CEO Daniel Zhang will succeed me as chairman of the board of Alibaba Group. While remaining as executive chairman in the next 12 months, I will work closely with Daniel to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Thereafter, I will stay on the Alibaba board of directors until our annual shareholders meeting in 2020.
He concluded the letter by saying:
As for myself, I still have lots of dreams to pursue. Those who know me know that I do not like to sit idle. I plan on continuing my role as the founding partner in the Alibaba Partnership and contribute to the work of the partnership. I also want to return to education, which excites me with so much blessing because this is what I love to do. The world is big, and I am still young, so I want to try new things – because what if new dreams can be realized?!
Shares of Alibaba were last seen down over 3% at $156.51, with a consensus analyst price target of $230.35 and a 52-week trading range of $155.80 to $211.70.