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Most read in 2018

Jack Ma's untidy departure typical of impulsive Alibaba boss

Visionary leader succeeded despite lack of technology expertise

Jack Ma, Alibaba co-founder and executive chairman, speaks to students at Waseda University in Tokyo in April. (Photo by Kaisuke Ohta)

It was typical of Jack Ma that the news of his decision to step back from the management of Alibaba was handled in an untidy way; disclosed in an interview that was first denied and then confirmed by the company.

Eventually, Alibaba released a letter in which Ma explained in moving terms the background to his decision to step down in a year's time as executive chairman of Alibaba, and his hopes for the company's future under his successor, Daniel Zhang, who is currently CEO.

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