SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son announced Thursday that he is leaving Alibaba’s board of directors while Jack Ma, the charismatic co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant, is also leaving SoftBank’s board of directors. .
Son made the unexpected decision at the SoftBank Group shareholders’ meeting after his company announced last month that Ma was leaving his board of directors on June 25.
Son, an early Alibaba investor, called their departure a vote of confidence in Ma’s successor as Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang.
Ma was on the SoftBank board of directors for 13 years. Son had been a member of Alibaba’s board of directors for around 15 years.
“With Jack serving his full sentence today, I will also be leaving as a member of Alibaba’s board of directors,” said Son, adding that the decision was effective on Thursday.
“It’s not because I lost hope (at Alibaba) or that we quarreled or something like that. Jack will graduate from us, so I should also graduate as a board member of Alibaba On the same day, starting today, I wanted to retire from Alibaba’s board of directors, “said Son.
Son famously invested $ 20 million in Alibaba in 2000. Since Wednesday, Son said SoftBank has a stake of 16.2 trillion yen ($ 151 billion) in Alibaba.
“For us, Alibaba remains the most important asset,” said Son.
Zhang took over the Chinese titan in September, Ma focusing on philanthropy.
“Jack and I ‘s retirement reflects our confidence in Daniel. Total confidence. I want to continue holding as many Alibaba shares as long as possible,” said Son.
Son also told shareholders that he had completed nearly 80% of his 4,500 billion yen asset sale or monetization plan to consolidate the company’s finances.
A month ago, SoftBank announced an annual net loss of $ 8.9 billion, hit hard by problems with its investments in the unicorn, including WeWork, as well as market dips caused by the pandemic of coronavirus.