SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son introduced Thursday he was leaving the board of Alibaba as Jack Ma, the charismatic co-founder of the Chinese language e-commerce big, additionally leaves SoftBank’s board.
Son made the sudden transfer at SoftBank Group’s shareholders’ assembly after his firm mentioned final month Ma was leaving its board, efficient June 25.
Son, an early Alibaba investor, characterised their parting as a vote of confidence in Ma’s successor as Alibaba chief govt, Daniel Zhang.
Ma had been on SoftBank’s board for 13 years. Son had been on Alibaba’s board for about 15 years.
“With Jack serving his full time period at the moment, I can even depart as a board member of Alibaba,” Son mentioned, including that the choice was efficient Thursday.
“It’s not as a result of I’ve misplaced hope (in Alibaba) or that we had a battle or something like that. Jack will graduate from us, so I also needs to graduate as an Alibaba board member. On the identical day, efficient at the moment, I wanted to retire from the board of Alibaba,” Son mentioned.
Son famously invested $20 million in Alibaba in 2000. As of Wednesday, Son mentioned SoftBank held a stake price 16.2-trillion-yen ($151 billion) in Alibaba.
“For us, Alibaba stays the most important share asset,” Son mentioned.
Zhang took over the Chinese language titan in September, with Ma turning his focus to philanthropy.
“The retirement of Jack and me displays our confidence in Daniel. Full confidence. I need to proceed to carry as many Alibaba shares for so long as attainable,” Son mentioned.
Son additionally instructed shareholders he had completed practically 80 p.c of his plan to promote or monetise 4.5 trillion yen price of property to shore up the agency’s troubled funds.
A month in the past, SoftBank introduced an eye-watering $8.9 billion annual web loss, hit laborious by troubles with its unicorn investments together with WeWork, in addition to market plunges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.