BEIJING (PingWest) — SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son said Thursday that he is stepping down from the board of Chinese largest e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., effective the same day.
Son made the announcement at the end of SoftBank’s annual shareholder meeting, following the resignation of Jack Ma, Alibaba’s co-founder, announced last month but effective Thursday as well. Mr. Son told shareholders that there was no disagreements between the two billionaires.
Son made his famous investments of $20 million in Alibaba in 2000, after chatting with Jack Ma for only five minutes. The world-renowned e-commerce company is now worth around $600 billion.
Son reaffirmed at the beginning of his annual presentation to investors that a global digital transformation and the advent of artificial intelligence will promote investments from Bytedance, owner of short-video giant TikTok, to e-commerce giant Alibaba and British semiconductor design company Arm Ltd.
Son said that the equity value of the group’s holdings has recovered to pre-coronavirus outbreak levels. The rise in corporate value was driven by the surge of SoftBank’s state in Alibaba and following the divestment of $21 billion worth of stock in U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc to seek funding for a $41 billion buyback.