Jack Ma Decided to Quit SoftBank Board on 25 June

Vaibhav Srivastava
19 May 2020

SoftBank, which is one of the biggest conglomerates in Japan reported record losses on Monday. Other than its failed investments in the past including one it made into an office-sharing startup, WeWork, coronavirus crises is another reason for its woes. The losses were announced soon after the company said that the richest man in China and Alibaba’s co-founder, Jack Ma decided to quit SoftBank Board on 25 June.

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For the first time in 15 years, SoftBank reported an annual operating loss of more than $12.5 billion, in the last fiscal year that ended on March 31. At the same time, it had also predicted that its Vision Fund which is over $100 billion in the capital would lose $16.5 billion. On the other side, last year and during the same period, SoftBank had reaped a  profit of $19.6 billion.

Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son said that Jack Ma decided to quit SoftBank board on 25 June “on his own”. He further added: “That’s sad, but we still keep in contact directly and right before the Covid-19, we met face-to-face every month to have dinner, to talk about businesses, to talk about lives. And we will remain friends for the rest of our life, I believe.”

So far, SoftBank has invested $75 billion in around 88 start-ups. But, some of its bets didn’t turn out as expected. The company had invested an enormous amount of $9 billion in WeWork. However, it comes into pieces even before the commencement of the coronavirus pandemic. SoftBank wrote in its financial report, “values of Uber, WeWork and its three affiliates decreased, and total fair value of other portfolio companies decreased significantly.”

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Jack Ma founded one of the biggest e-commerce platforms Alibaba in 1999. He is the richest man in China with a net worth of more than $41 billion. This is another big news after Ma he stepped down as the chairman of Alibaba in September 2019. Although he is still holding the position as a board member to shift his focus more towards philanthropic activities. Apparently, Jack Ma decided to quit SoftBank board on 25 June is a part to take a step forward in this quest.

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