Jack Ma, founder of online retail conglomerate Alibaba Group Holdings, will resign as chief executive officer and continue in the role of chairman, Bloomberg reported. Ma will step down as CEO on May 10, at which time a replacement is likely to be revealed, according to a letter circulated among employees on Tuesday. “I want to encourage our young leaders to step forward to ensure a smooth transition,” he said. “The next generation of Alibaba people are better equipped to manage an Internet ecosystem like ours.” The changes at Alibaba may indicate an IPO is imminent, according to CIMB Securities analyst Wendy Huang. The step adds to other signs that the company is preparing for an IPO after the June delisting of a Hong Kong subsidiary and the unveiling of a management reorganization in early January.