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Jack Ma, China’s richest man and co-founder of Alibaba Group, is going to leave the board of SoftBank on June 25. SoftBank’s Vision Fund has announced that its losses amount to $18 billion.
Popular tech entrepreneur and business magnate Jack Ma has decided to stop being a SoftBank board member. The decision is to be effective on June 25. This is after the firm’s Vision Fund recorded losses of around $18 billion.
Jack Ma’s exit from SoftBank board marks him the latest high-profile figure to opt-out of SoftBank Group. On Monday, the firm also posted a total yearly loss of $13 billion for the year ending March 31. Before Jack Ma’s exit, Tadashi Yanai, founder of Uniqlo and Shigenobu Nagamori, Nidec founder, stepped down from SoftBank’s board in December 2019 and 2017, respectively.
SoftBank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son, described Ma’s exit as sad. He said it was the techpreneur decision to leave the board but he hopes to keep a close relationship, to talk about business and other things as they would remain friends.
Ma’s action of stepping aside from the bank’s board might not utterly be blamed for the record losses the bank has been recording. Reportedly, the Alibaba founder recently has been focused on education philanthropy in past years. Recently, he stepped down as Alibaba’s chairman as speculations say he will quit Alibaba board too very soon.
His exit from SoftBank’s board comes after the firm’s CEO drifted out of telecom and backed new firms with the colossal $100 billion Vision Fund launched in 2017. The 2017 launched fund in total has supported 88 Start-Ups with no lesser than $75 billion.
The Vision Fund owing to wrong investments is now in poor health with Apple and the Saudi sovereign wealth fund part of its contributors.
WeWork, for example, the fund invested $9 billion on turned out eventually to be a wrong move after the firm collapsed even before the coronavirus began collapsing economies. The Start-Up that provides office spaces has multi-story offices around the world empty. The firm is not expected to come out of the debt anytime soon.
The Vision Fund has also staked billion on firms like Uber, Indian Chain Hotel Oyo, etc. has seen their valuation drop owing to managing the coronavirus pandemic. SoftBank, in its report, revealed that Uber, WeWork, and affiliates have seen their value decrease significantly.
Jack Ma and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son Are Old-time Friends
Both Asian tech tycoons are known friends with their relationship around two decades old. Son was one of Alibaba’s foremost investors.
In 2000, a year after Alibaba was found, SoftBank invested $20 million in the firm then. SEC records state that SoftBank posses around 25% stake in Alibaba’s total value, which is valued at over $100 billion.
On March 19, SoftBank share hit its lowest in four years, this made the firm announced it would sell $41 billion of its asset and buy back $4.7 billion of its shares.