Jack Ma’s pursuit of philanthropic mission
After 13 years of being a SoftBank Board Member, Alibaba’s Jack Ma has finally resigned from his throne. Jack Ma has been recognized as one of the richest billionaires in this era. His rags to riches story made him the second richest person in China with $25 billion net worth.
Ma is one of the top allies of SoftBank CEO Masayoshi San- a major investor way back in 2000. Despite having a strong allegiance, Jack Ma stepped down from his position to pursue his lifelong philanthropy. He even quoted that, “I can never be as rich, but one thing I can do better is to retire earlier. I think someday, and soon, I’ll go back to teaching. This is something I think I can do much better than being CEO of Alibaba,” After also resigning from his position in Alibaba.
The $18 Billion Loss
It gave a big fuss to his resignation on Monday when SoftBank also declared their $18 Billion annual operating loss, which is the worst loss they ever had since WeWork and Uber. However, the company cleared that SoftBank Vision Fund, have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis with an estimated investment loss of 1.1 trillion yen in the fourth quarter. This is due to the decline in fair values of investments.
Regardless of the annual operating loss, Richard Kaye, a fund manager at Comgest, confirmed that no large losses were reported after the incident. Kaye stated that “Although the [loss] figure might look large, the implications in terms of cash flow to a SoftBank shareholder are much smaller,”
He also added, “WeWork is only one of many stakes at the Vision Fund … the value in many of the company’s stakes I think is fascinating.”
Though Jack Ma will no longer be part of the SoftBank board, the company still holds 25% of Alibaba. SoftBank also recommended three names to replace Ma on the board. They are CFO Yoshimoto Goto, CEO Lip-Bu Tan, of chip design software firm Cadence Design Systems who is also chairman of venture capital firm Walden International, and Yuko Kawamoto, a professor at Waseda Business School.
If Kawamoto accepts this invitation, she’ll be the only female board member in SoftBank. They will discuss the final decision regarding the re-assignment at their annual general meeting on June 25. It will then expand the number of board members by 13.