Alibaba founder Jack Ma cut his stake in the company’s financial division
Owners of large corporations often have to make difficult decisions to stay afloat. Many businesses, even the most successful and large-scale ones, are forced to maneuver and adjust to new realities. The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic contributes to this, as do the internal political decisions of the leading governments. For example, at the beginning of 2023, Jack Ma, the founder of the giant Alibaba Corporation, effectively lost control of the Ant Group, the financial arm of the Alibaba Group.
The seriousness of the loss for Ma is also proved by the fact that Ant Group owns the AliPay payment system. It is one of the largest payment systems, which cooperates with 65 financial institutions. AliPay is considered a leader not only in China – it is used by 460 thousand of companies around the world.
Ant Group has decided to change its management structure. Currently, the company’s board of directors consists of four independent directors. The company will increase their number to five so that independent directors will constitute the majority of the board.
In addition, the voting rights of the company’s shareholders will be changed. Now, instead of one Jack Ma, decisions will be made by ten people, including the founder, a number of management representatives, and even company employees. So Ma will actually lose control over Ant Group.
As of January 2023, the company’s founder and three investors will collectively own 53.46% of Ant Group. At the same time, after the changes, Jack Ma has only 6.2% of the shares, as calculated by Bloomberg. This decision was made to promote more effective management of the company, as well as to align the interests of shareholders with their economic interests. At the same time, the shares of shareholders in the company will remain unchanged.
In November 2020, Ant Group was planning to hold its largest IPO of $34.5 billion on the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges. However, after a speech by Jack Ma, in which he criticized Chinese regulators, the listing was disrupted. Then the company began to think about selling his share, as well as excluding him from the management.
Meanwhile, Jack Ma himself left China in November, 2022. According to the Financial Times, the businessman now resides in Tokyo. Obviously, criticism of the decisions made by the Chinese authorities has led to a series of problems for Jack Ma. In turn, the businessman has no plans to stop and continues to work despite the setbacks.