ALIBABA’S chairman Jack Ma has officially stepped down from his role on Sept 10, 2019 and handed the position to the company’s current CEO, Daniel Zhang. The transition was planned a year ago.

In an announcement made last year Ma said his departure from Alibaba’s Group will be gradual: “The one thing I can promise everyone is this: Alibaba was never about Jack Ma, but Jack Ma will forever belong to Alibaba.”

Ma will continue to serve on Alibaba’s board until its annual general shareholders’ meeting next year.

He also remains a lifetime partner of Alibaba Partnership, a group drawn from the senior management ranks of Alibaba Group of companies and affiliates.