September 20, 2018 / 3:38 AM / 3 months ago

Alibaba's Jack Ma rules out comeback after he steps down next year

Alibaba Group co-founder and executive chairman Jack Ma attends the WAIC (World Artificial Intelligence Conference) in Shanghai, China, September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

TIANJIN, China (Reuters) - Jack Ma, the charismatic billionaire co-founder of Chinese e-tech giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N), said he would not look to return as the firm’s executive chairman after he steps down next year even if his successor faces problems.

“I don’t want to die in the office, I’d rather die on the beach,” Ma said on Thursday during an event at a World Economic Forum summit in the Chinese coastal city of Tianjin.

Ma announced earlier this month that he would step down as chairman of the country’s top e-commerce company next September and focus more on philanthropy. He will hand the reins of his empire to current CEO Daniel Zhang.

Reporting by Kevin Yao, Writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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