Fortunemagazine this month named Jack Ma one of the world’s greatest leaders for 2017.
A key takeaway from Fortune‘s coverage is that “Ma is using his new platform in unexpected, invigorating ways, positioning himself as a champion of both free trade and philanthropy — and arguing that open digital marketplaces like Alibaba’s can power the world’s economy by enabling small businesses to reach an ever-expanding pool of customers.”
Ma is in lofty company, ranking number two, right under Chicago Cubs executive Theo Epstein, and just above Pope Francis. Epstein who ended the Major League Baseball team’s 108-year drought by winning the 2016 World Series, and Pope Francis is, well, just the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world.
Ma’s style — he once greeted World Trade Organization President Jim Kim wearing prayer beads and sandals — is decidedly different from his peers, but just as effective in creating what Fortune calls “the dominant force in Chinese e-commerce, a company with a market value of $264 billion and some 450 million customers.”
Fortune notes that Ma is more than just a corporate helmsman. The magazine calls him “a global ambassador for Chinese business, he spent 800 hours aloft last year — visiting princes, Presidents, and Prime Ministers and lots of mere businesspeople too.”
You can read Fortune‘s 2017 World’s Greatest Leaders feature here.
Reporter Adam Lashinsky wrote an in-depth profileJack Ma for the magazine.
And click on the play button to watch the accompanying Fortune video below.