Alibaba fame Jack Ma quits board of SoftBank after big bets on Oyo, Uber stutter amid COVID-19

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May 18, 2020 3:32 PM

SoftBank has lost total 1.36 trillion yen in the 12 months ended March with a net loss of 961.6 billion yen. Jack Ma's exit from SoftBank follows the withdrawal of Tadashi Yanai, founder and CEO of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing.

SoftBank has also said today that its Vision fund business lost about $17.7 billion in the last financial year after it wrote down the value of investments such as WeWork and Ritesh Agarwal’s Oyo.

One of Asia’s richest men Jack Ma has quit from the board of Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp as the technology company struggles over its risky investments such as office-sharing venture WeWork and ride sharing app Uber amid coronavirus outbreak. The Tokyo-based firm SoftBank has announced Jack Ma’s resignation on Monday, ahead of releasing financial results. However, the company has not made the reasons for Jack Ma’s exit clear. SoftBank will propose three new board members including SoftBank Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto and Waseda University professor Yuko Kawamoto during its AGM on 25th June 2020. The number of board members will go upto 13.

SoftBank has also said today that its Vision fund business lost about $17.7 billion in the last financial year after it wrote down the value of investments such as WeWork and Ritesh Agarwal’s Oyo. Overall, SoftBank has lost total 1.36 trillion yen in the 12 months ended March with a net loss of 961.6 billion yen, the company said in a statement on Monday.

Meanwhile, the co-founder of one of the biggest ecommerce platforms Alibaba, has been focusing on philanthropy lately after his departure from Alibaba as executive chairman in September. As the world reels under the coronavirus pandemic,  the billionaire has been donating masks and test kits to help in the efforts against the pandemic. Jack Ma’s exit from SoftBank follows the withdrawal of Tadashi Yanai, founder and CEO of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing, who resigned from the board late last year. Tadashi Yanai focusing on his fashion business which has also recently started operations in India as well.

SoftBank board had approved a second 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) tranche of share purchases as its efforts to buyback 2.5 trillion yen programme announced in March. The company looks to ramp up up the group’s share price as its bets on technology giants stutter, Reuters reported. The company has so far bought back more than 250 billion yen of its shares at the end of April. It has also pledged to sell down or monetise $41 billion of assets to raise cash, with its stake in Alibaba which is the most valuable asset in Softbank’s portfolio.

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