Within a month of Jack Ma’s resignation from the Softbank board, Masayoshi Son has announced that his investment in Jack Ma’s Alibaba has “graduated”, and he will be leaving the board of directors subsequently.
The announcement follows Jack Ma’s decision to leave the board of SoftBank, and will see the two company’s cutting the final thread that bound them together. This is the end of an era, if you will, even though the split was amicable. Son had invested $20 billion in the Chinese E commerce platform, an investment that has grown to be worth $150 billion. The two companies have shared a long history, with Jack Ma assuming a board role in SoftBank for 13 years, before his resignation last month.
Son added that there’s no bad blood between the two founders or the entities themselves.
SoftBank has run into a bit of a pickle, specially after the WeWork fiasco. After the IPO for the office sharing startup failed, it opened up a can of worms, the lid on which is still missing. The company agreed to a bailout plan for the startup, a part of which was later receded due to WeWork’s inability to fulfill the terms of the plan. This further caused the startup to file a lawsuit against the conglomerate, which has brought some bad faith for the company.
All this, paired with the ill returns of the $100 billion Vision fund and failing investments in the likes of OYO and Uber has forced Son to sell assets in order to keep his head above the water. The founder has raised $20 billion from his T-Mobile stakes alone, and has announced a total of $35 billion accumulation, which rounds up to about 80% of the total planned unloading of investments.
Still, it seems like the market has lost faith in the company, and already declared it dead. Son expressed his worry at a shareholder meeting today, by saying that many people think that SoftBank is “finished”. He added that the SoftBank’s shareholder value now stands at $218 billion.