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Alibaba's Jack Ma To Resign From SoftBank's Board After 13 Years

Alibaba Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BABA) co-founder Jack Ma is resigning from SoftBank Group Corporation's (OTC: SFTBY) board of directors, the latter said in a

Benzinga · 05/18/2020 04:07

Alibaba Group Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BABA) co-founder Jack Ma is resigning from SoftBank Group Corporation's (OTC: SFTBY) board of directors, the latter said in a statement Monday (Tokyo time).

What Happened

Ma, who had been a member of SoftBank's board since 2007, will resign at the investment firm's annual general meeting on June 25.

The billionaire entrepreneur had previously stepped down from his role as Alibaba's executive chairman in September last year, as he looked to become more involved in philanthropy.

SoftBank said it had proposed the reelection of the ten other existing board members, along with the election of three new members, including Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto, Waseda Business School professor Yuko Kawamoto, and Cadence Design Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) CEO Lip-Bu Tan.

Why It Matters

The investment firm was one of the earliest investors in Alibaba in 2000, and the Chinese e-commerce company turned out to be one of its most profitable bets.

SoftBank has been struggling lately, as some of its investments through the ambitious Vision Fund, have failed to pay dividends.

The Japanese venture fund's investment in WeWork proved to be a disaster for its founder and CEO Masayoshi Son and is now a subject of a legal fight with the startup's co-founder Adam Neumann and other early investors.

There are concerns about the performance of other portfolio companies, including Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER), as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has significantly impacted businesses.

SoftBank also said on Monday it was planning to repurchase another $4.7 billion worth of its shares by March next year.

The investment giant's board had approved a plan to buy back $41 billion worth of shares in March after activist investor Elliott Management Corp. increased its holding in the group.

Price Action

SoftBank shares closed 1% lower at $21.16 in the otc market on Friday. Alibaba shares closed 1.2% higher at $203.68 in New York the same day.