Home / Tech / Inside Jack Ma's 60,000-person retirement party, which was held in an Olympic stadium and featured employee performances that made Ma cry

Inside Jack Ma's 60,000-person retirement party, which was held in an Olympic stadium and featured employee performances that made Ma cry

jack ma retirement party

  • Alibaba threw its cofounder and outgoing chairman Jack Ma a four-hour, 60,000-person going away party at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Ma has a reputation for being extravagant, Business Insider previously reported.
  • The former chairman will be replaced by CEO Daniel Zhang and previously said that after retiring, he wants to return to teaching.
  • Jack Ma, the richest person in China, has a net worth of $38 billion.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Outgoing Alibaba chairman Jack Ma is known for being flamboyant, and his retirement party from the online marketplace proved to be no different.

The occasion, officially billed as Alibaba’s 20th-anniversary party, was held in an 80,000-seat arena and lasted for hours, Reuters reported.

“This is not the end of Jack Ma,” Ma said to the crowd at the event, according to the Wall Street Journal. “This is just the beginning of passing down a heritage.”

Read more: Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma — the richest person in China — is retiring with a net worth of $38 billion. Here’s his incredible rags-to-riches story.

Ma, a former English teacher, founded Alibaba 20 years ago from his apartment in Hangzhou, Business Insider previously reported. Ma is now the richest person in China and has a net worth of $38 billion.

Keep reading for a look inside the massive anniversary celebration.

SEE ALSO: Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma — the richest person in China — is retiring with a net worth of $38 billion. Here’s his incredible rags-to-riches story.

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The event was held in the city where Alibaba was founded 20 years ago, at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center.

Source: Reuters

Many of the 60,000 guests were Alibaba employees.

Source: Reuters

The event began with a parade of employees from Alibaba’s various divisions around the arena’s running track.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

 

There was also a shape-shifting car …

Source: Alibaba

… and people dressed like the company’s mascots.

Source: Alibaba

The procession “mimicked the Olympic Games’ Parade of Nations,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Employees dressed up and performed songs and dances poking fun at Alibaba’s company culture.

The topics of the songs ranged from employees’ frequent travel to the staggering wealth employees have accumulated since Alibaba’s founding, according to The Journal. One group even reportedly sang part of Travie McCoy’s 2010 song “Billionaire.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Ma teared up while watching his employees perform the routines they had practiced fro months, according to reports.

Source: Reuters

Ma performed Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” with a group of senior executives on a portable stage that was pulled around the arena, the Journal reported.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

As photos from the event show, Ma played an orange guitar, wore sunglasses and spiked shoulder pads and a wig.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The group calls themselves “A band.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal

“What a wonderful world with so many opportunities in it,” Ma said in a moving address about Alibaba’s future. “I wish to work in new fields. ‘Green mountains won’t change and the flowing waters are endless.’ See you around.”

Source: Alibaba

Incoming chairman and current CEO Daniel Zhang also gave a speech, saying, “We believe that the best way to give thanks to yesterday is to create the most beautiful future together.”

Source: Alibaba