Alibaba's Jack Ma bid farewell as executive chairman for the company he co-founded 20 years ago, sporting a rock star wig and guitar at an employee event Tuesday, according to Reuters. The e-commerce company reportedly hosted a four-hour celebration in a stadium built to accommodate 80,000 people, complete with performers in costumes and a parade of floats.
Malast year, saying he was leaving to pursue philanthropic endeavors geared toward education. CEO Daniel Zhang will take his place. Ma will continue to serve as a member of the company's board.
After co-founding Alibaba in 1999, Ma helped build it into a company worth $460 billion. The e-commerce giant expanded into everything from digital payments to online banking to cloud computing. In the process, Ma became the richest man in China, with a net worth of around $40 billion.
"After tonight I will start a new life," Ma reportedly said at Tuesday's event. "I do believe the world is good, there are so many opportunities, and I love excitement so much, which is why I will retire early."
First published Sept. 10.
Update, Sept. 11: Adds that Ma will remain on Alibaba's board.