Alibaba’s founder and former chief executive has said that he would find it “almost impossible” to get a job at his company today.
Ma, China’s richest man, told the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore that he and many other successful founders would find it difficult to secure jobs at their respective companies today.
“People like me, today, if I tried to apply (for a) job in Alibaba, it’s almost impossible,” he said.
He explained that today’s international employment system places a disproportionate amount of emphasis on academic results, instead of candidates’ ability to think outside of the box.
“People judge you by your diploma. They would think ’hey, we’ve got a group of people from Harvard, we’ve got people from Stanford, and you are from nowhere.”
Ma, who retired from Alibaba last month, was rejected from 30 jobs before founding Alibaba in 1999 and said that he had encountered many capable “entrepreneurs like me” who had become wildly successful.
“We (have to) teach our kids how to be innovative, constructive and creative so they can survive in the AI (artificial intelligence) period,” he added, explaining that computers have made it far less important for candidates to be able to calculate quickly and retain lots of information.