China’s richest man and founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA) Jack Ma will be stepping down from the board of Softbank group Corp (TYO: 9984). This development was announced by Softbank.
This resignation will mark the latest by Jack Ma who seems to be dropping high profile corporate positions to give full concentration to his philanthropy ventures. Back in September, Jack Ma stepped down from being Alibaba’s CEO.
Softbank says it will be appointing three new persons to the company’s board during its upcoming annual general meeting slated for June 25. Softbank’s Chief Financial Officer, Yoshimoto Goto, will be among the new members appointed to the board bringing total board members of the company to 13.
At the meeting Softbank is set to propose election of CEO of Cadence Design Systems, Lip-Bu Tan and Professor Yuko Kawamoto to fill the remaining two slots at the company’s board. If the recommendation turns out fruitful, Kawamoto will become the only female board member.
Elliott Management -an investor in Softbank has been pressing the company’s board to ensure gender inclusivity is reflected at the board hence the reason why the board is bringing its first female member on board.
Additionally, Elliott has been pushing for formation of a new subcommittee to oversee the investment process at the $100 billion Vision Fund.
Strong criticism has building up on the management of Softbank, the company’s CEO Masayoshi Son has been largely using a top-down leadership method which has been attracting immense scrutiny as the company has been making constant losses in the past three quarters.
“Who is the voice of reason who can stand up to Son? You probably need more than one. I am doubtful that these four outside directors, in a board of 13, will have much effect slowing Son down before the next WeWork deal,” said Nicholas Benes from The Board Director Training Institute of Japan.