Japanese multinational SoftBank announced that Jack Ma will step down from June 25.
On Monday, Japanese multinational SoftBank announced that its board of directors, Jack Ma, will step down from June 25. The decision comes as SoftBank reports historic losses.
Getting down and retreating
Jack Ma, the founder of e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, has served on the SoftBank Board for thirteen years. Last year, Ma Alibaba resigned as chairman and is slowly moving away from the business world and focusing more on his philanthropic efforts.
The Chinese billionaire, who has a net worth of $37.2 billion, is now stepping down from his role in SoftBank and is rumoured to be leaving Alibaba’s board.
Close business relationships
Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group, has a long and close relationship with Jack Ma. In 2000, SoftBank was one of the first investors in Ma’s Alibaba, an online retail / wholesale platform and cloud-computing service.
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Today, SoftBank controls approximately 25% of Alibaba’s stock, which is worth $100 billion.
Ma and Son’s relationship seems to be strong, and Son pays homage to his departing business partner. “Jack Ma is my friend and companion,” the son recently commented, and the two meet for dinner at least once a month, discussing both business and personal life.
Speaking through a translator, the son said, “We will be friends for the rest of our lives, I hope.”
SoftBank reports historical losses
SoftBank Group has had a tough year, suffering from risky investments and coronavirus infection. The company reported a record loss, with an annual operating loss of 1.36 trillion yen, or $12.7 billion.
Most of these losses are the result of Vision Fund, the technology investment arm of SoftBank. The poor performance of Vision Fund’s two assets, Uber and WeWork, resulted in a loss of about $17.7 billion.
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In an attempt to raise its bottom line, SoftBank announced on Monday that it would repurchase about $4.7 billion of its shares.
But Ma’s exit from SoftBank will not be the result of the company’s most recent challenges. He has taken steps to move away from the business world over the past year, and the recent crisis has been less of a cause for Mau’s departure than the catalyst for a long-planned move.
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