Jack Ma, the teacher turned billionaire who founded e-commerce giant Alibaba in China is stepping down as the online retail behemoth’s Executive chairman on Tuesday.

The date, Ma has chosen to step down is September 10. It is Teachers' Day in China. It is also the 55th birthday of Ma.

Jack Ma will be celebrating his retirement bash at a king-sized stadium in the company's hometown of Hangzhou.

On Tuesday night, attendees at the Jack Ma retirement bash will get clues from the mentor how Alibaba will be run by his successor Daniel Zhang.

Rising from a humble background, Jack Ma founded and led Alibaba to become Asia's most valuable listed company with a market capitalization of $460 billion.

Employing over 100,000 people it has diversified into many areas--financial services, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing.

After building the Alibaba empire Jack Ma will be focusing on philanthropy.

The former English teacher is also a member of the Chinese Communist Party. With his nearly $40 billion fortune, Jack Ma is China’s richest man.

The Chinese government honored Ma last November as one of 100 people who made outstanding contributions to China's economic transformation in the last four decades.

Always a teacher at heart

Ma referenced his previous teaching career to explain why he wanted to step down from his company.

“Teachers always want their students to exceed them, so the responsible thing ... for me and the company to do is to let younger, more talented people take over in leadership roles,” Ma said last September.

Ma is also on record that he wanted to retire earlier than Bill Gates, who stepped down at the age of 58 in 2014 from Microsoft.

Jack Ma Foundation was founded in 2014 on the lines of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

‘Jack has been signaling for some time his interests in philanthropy, environment, women's empowerment, education, and development,” said Duncan Clark, the author of 'Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built."

Guidance to the company will continue

Ma had expressed his intent to resign a year ago. Even after stepping away from Alibaba's senior management, he is expected to guide the company through his association with the Alibaba Partnership.

It is a group of 36 people empowered to nominate a majority of the directors to the board. Jack Ma also holds a 6.22 percent stake in the company.

Ma has been a great votary of gender equality. Nearly half of Alibaba's senior management team are women.

jack ma
Jack Ma speaks during the Hongqiao International Economic and Trade Forum in China. Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Although some people see a linkage in the timing of Ma's exit as the Chinese government's efforts at tightening grip on internet companies, Ma has denied Beijing’s pressure has anything to do with his retirement.

Daniel Zhang era starts in Alibaba

Meanwhile, Jack Ma’s successor 46-year-old Daniel Zhang is considered a brilliant strategist. In terms of management style, Zhang is more pragmatic and reserved than Jack Ma.

Inside the company, Zhang is known as Xiaoyaozi, the character in a Chinese martial arts novel with the meaning "the unfettered." It implies that he would stay out of battles and the focus will be on training others.

According to Alibaba news, Zhang is known as the main architect behind the biggest sales bonanza - Singles Day held annually on November 11.

The event started in 2009, long before Amazon Prime Day played out.

Singles Day has become the planet’s largest retail event where the sales volumes are four times the size of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales combined.

Alibaba stock was up 0.62 percent in after-hours trade on Monday.