Here’s something you don’t see every day in corporate America.
Wearing a shiny silver jacket and flanked by swaying backup dancers, Jack Ma -- the celebrated founder of Chinese tech giant Alibaba -- belted out an anthemic rendition of “I Love You, China” last May to an audience of 40,000 customers and employees brandishing glowsticks and sporting devil-horned headbands.
A new video unearthed by The Wall Street Journal illustrates that as Alibaba makes serious strides towards one of the most-anticipated U.S.-based IPOs of all time (as well as multimillion dollar investments in messaging app Tango and Uber competitor Lyft), its charismatic leader still knows how to let loose.
In addition to his prowess as a singer, a new profile in The Journal also sheds light on Ma’s celebrity status across China, where his biographies are bestsellers and clips of his motivational speeches about business management are widely heralded.
Ma, 49, transitioned from CEO to executive chairman of Alibaba last May. And while such moves are typically marked by matter-of-fact statements or extended leaves, Ma chose to mark the occasion with the above spectacle.
The son of two musical theater performers, Ma famously led a group of 18 people to found Alibaba in 1999. Today, the company employs more than 200,000 people and operates more than 70 offices across the globe.