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SoftBank fires Jack Ma from the board of directors in the worst crisis

May 18, 2020

Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma has stepped down from the board of directors of SoftBank, the Japanese technology giant and leading blockchain sponsor. After 13 years of working closely with SoftBank, China’s richest man left the board amid the worst operational crisis the company has faced in its history.

According to a report by Japanese magazine Nikkei on May 17, Ma’s exit was due to a record loss of 1.8 trillion yen ($ 6.7 billion) from the Softbank Vision Fund. Softbank’s total annual losses this year were 1.36 trillion yen ($ 12.7 billion) as of March 31, the company said.

China’s richest man leaves the board on June 25th

Softbank announced the news at an annual winning conference on Monday and suggested three new directors. The proposed executives include Yoshimoto Goto, CFO of SoftBank, Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of Cadence Design Systems, and Yuko Kawamoto, professor at the Waseda School of Business. The new board candidates will be officially proposed at SoftBank’s annual meeting on June 25, the day Ma officially leaves the company.

SoftBank fires Jack Ma from the board of directors in the worst crisis
SoftBank fires Jack Ma from the board of directors in the worst crisis

As reported by Nikkei, SoftBank said the decision to leave the board was made at Ma’s request. After founding China’s e-commerce giant in 1999, Ma is China’s richest man with a net worth of over $ 41 billion. The news comes after Ma resigned as President of Alibaba in September 2019, where he is still a board member. Apparently, the billionaire’s decision to leave SoftBank is part of shifting its focus to the philanthropic world.

With around 25% of Alibaba shares, SoftBank is the largest investor in Alibaba. SoftBank’s huge annual losses were mainly due to unfortunate investments in companies like WeWork and Uber, which were compounded by the coronavirus pandemic. As published by Cointelegraph, the investment in WeWork SoftBank was $ 24 billion.

SoftBank plays an important role in the blockchain

SoftBank, a multinational holding company for large corporations, and their executives are known for their blockchain-related collaborations and initiatives in addition to investing in Bitcoin (BTC). At the end of 2019, SoftBank introduced a debit card with an integrated cryptocurrency wallet. SoftBank previously partnered to launch a blockchain telecommunications payment platform between operators, technology giant IBM and TBCASoft.

Masayoshi Son, founder and CEO of SoftBank, is known for an unfortunate investment in Bitcoin. Son is said to have invested in Bitcoin when the cryptocurrency hit its record in late 2017. The billionaire has reportedly lost more than $ 130 million through his crypto investments.