Masayoshi Son is bidding adieu to the domestic telecommunication unit that has long been central to his technology empire SoftBank Corp and is all set to welcome a transition of power.
According to a statement issued by the company, Son’s shoes will be filled by the current CEO of the SoftBank Group Ken Miyauchi while Junichi Miyakawa will take over the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
This move by Son was somewhat anticipated as he spun out the wireless business out of the SoftBank Group Corporation in 2018 and then went on to sell his stake down all the way to 40%.
Now, as for Miyauchi, he joined SoftBank all the way back in 1984 – three short years after it was created and has been one of the longest-serving right-hand men of Son. He helped the latter grow the business from a personal computer software distributor into a telecom conglomerate.
Currently aged 71, Miyauchi took the reigns of domestic operations when the unit went public and later provided vital assistance in engineering the merger of SoftBank’s Yahoo Japan internet business with Line Corp – the messaging giant.
Junichi Miyakawa who will transition into the role of CEO joined the company in 2003 and has moved around and served under various technical positions at the firm’s broadband operation, the Japan wireless operation and Sprint Corp. Now 55, most recently he held the role of CTO at SoftBank Corp.
Masayoshi Son: Focusing On Financial Investments & Preparing For Upcoming IPOs
As for Masayoshi Son, for whom the telecom services wing has been the cornerstone of the tech empire he has been able to build, is shifting his attention to the upcoming financial investments and that is the primary reason why he is stepping down from the role of Chairman from the telecom unit of SoftBank.
Also, building on the 2020 turnaround which took his technology conglomerate’s value to the highest since the dot-com boom, Son is currently preparing to take at least 6 more of SoftBank portfolio companies public in this year.
According to people in the know, among the companies heading for initial public offerings include – South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp., PT Tokopedia – the Indonesian online mall operator and China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing. The IPOs, if successful, can very well award Son with another huge round of gains after successful offering from DoorDash Inc and KE Holdings Inc. in the previous year.
Last year, he started on a very rough note as he suffered the meltdown of WeWork, plunging of his shares due to the coronavirus pandemic and suffering a loss of close to $18 billion in SoftBank’s Vision Fund.
This led to the Japanese tech billionaire being forced to cash out of investments like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, who then went on a selling-spree to raise $50 billion by letting go of stakes in Alibaba, T-Mobile U.S. Inc and its domestic wireless unit, SoftBank Corp.
Later Son used the cash to buy back his own shares which pushed SoftBank Group’s stock to the peak level since 2000. Now it remains to be seen what his next moves will be. Given the demand for IPOs continue, if he will keep funding buyback is something only the future can tell. We will keep you updated. Until then, stay tuned.