Masayoshi Son - The 2nd Richest Man in Japan

Megha Rani Megha Rani
Jun 21, 2022 6 min read
Masayoshi Son - The 2nd Richest Man in Japan

Masayoshi Son is a Japanese Entrepreneur, Investor, and Philanthropist. He founded the Japanese holding company, SoftBank, and serves as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He is the Chairman of the UK-based Arm Holdings. According to Forbes, Masayoshi is the 74th richest man in the World and the second richest man in Japan with a net worth of $44.4 billion.

Get an insight into the SoftBank and Masayoshi Son Story in the post ahead!

Masayoshi Son - Biography

Name Masayoshi Son
Born 11 August, 1957
Birthplace Tosu, Saga, Japan
Age 65 (2022)
Nationality Japanese
Citizenship Japan
Education University of California, Berkeley
Profession Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist
Position Founder & CEO, SoftBank
Net worth $44.4 billion ( 2022)
Brothers 3
Marital Status Married
Spouse Masami Ohno
Children 2

Masayoshi Son- Personal Life
Masayoshi Son- Education
Masayoshi Son- Professional Life
Masayoshi Son- SoftBank
Masayoshi Son- Vision Fund Investments
Masayoshi Son- Investor
Masayoshi Son- Arm Holdings
Masayoshi Son- Philanthropy
Masayoshi Son - Latest News

Masayoshi Son- Personal Life

Masayoshi Son- CEO of Softbank
Masayoshi Son- CEO of Softbank

Masayoshi was born in Tosu, Japan. He belongs to "Zainichi Koreans", ethnic Koreans having permanent residency in Japan. He has three brothers and is the second eldest of the siblings. Taizo Son, his younger brother is the Founder of GunHo Online Entertainment and the venture capital firm Mistletoe.

At age 16, he moved out from Japan to California for higher studies. He then lived with his friends and family in South San Francisco. He met his wife, Masami Ohno while studying at the university. The couple bears two children. He currently resides with residesmily in Tokyo.

Masayoshi Son- Education

Masayoshi went to California and finished high school in just three weeks by taking the necessitated exams at Serramonte High. After that, he pursued a Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics and also studied Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley.

He completed his graduation in 1980. He pursued his interest in business before Japan's McDonald's president, Den Fujita, and on the advice of the latter, he started studying English and Computer Science.

Masayoshi Son- Professional Life

Masayoshi Son and Softbank Story

At age 19, Masayoshi got besotted by an integrated circuit featured in a magazine and he realized that computer technology would fuel the next commercial revolution.

While pursuing his studies, he developed an electronic translator that was sold to Sharp Corporation for $ 1.7 million. He earned $ 1.5 million by importing used video games and installing them in dormitories and restaurants.

After graduating in 1980, he started Unison in Oakland, CA, which was acquired by Kyocera. He is one of the active investors and holds maximum stakes at companies like Yahoo!, and Alibaba through the means of his venture SoftBank.


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Masayoshi Son- SoftBank

SoftBank Logo
SoftBank Logo

Masayoshi founded SoftBank Group Corporation on 3 September 1981. The company is headquartered in Minato, Tokyo and he serves as its Founder and CEO. He also owns a professional Japanese baseball team, which he named SoftBank Hawks.

SoftBank is a multinational conglomerate holding venture which holds stakes in many technology, energy, and financial companies. It also runs Vision Fund which is the world's largest technology-focused venture capital firm, with over $ 100 billion in the capital.

Masayoshi Son- Vision Fund Investments

Vision Fund Logo
Vision Fund Logo

The $ 100 billion Vision Fund is an investment vehicle that runs for SoftBank. It invests in emerging technologies like, robotics, artificial intelligence, and the internet of things. The company aims to double its portfolio of AI companies to reform real estate, transportation, and retail.

He makes personal connections with the CEOs of all companies funded by Vision Fund. He plans to raise $100 billion for a new fund. Every few years, he invests about $ 50 billion each year in startups.

The graph shows some of the investments made by the Vision Fund in its first round
The graph shows some of the investments made by the Vision Fund in its first round

In 2020, Vision Fund was recorded to have invested in 88 companies including ride-share companies Grab, Coupang, and Paytm. As of the year 2022, the vision fund has around 475 companies included in its portfolio.

Masayoshi Son- Investor

He is an active investor such that his holding company, SoftBank holds 25 % of the Alibaba company. Moreover, his stake in Yahoo! had diminished by 7%. He then established Yahoo! Japan in September 2001, where he holds a controllable interest. He stepped down from the Alibaba board in June 2020.

Post hyperinflation of SoftBank's equity, he was strained to pivot towards Yahoo! BB and BB Phone. SoftBank has an accumulated debt of about $1.3 billion to date. Still, Yahoo! BB acquired Japan Telecom, which was then the third-largest broadband and landline provider with 600,00 residential and 170,000 commercial subscribers in the year 2020. Thereafter, Yahoo! BB is Japan's leading broadband provider.

Masayoshi Son- Arm Holdings

Arm Holdings was successfully purchased by SoftBank in 2016 for the amount $ 31.4 billion
Arm Holdings was successfully purchased by SoftBank in 2016 for the amount $ 31.4 billion

Masayoshi serves as the Chairman of the US-based software design company, Arm Holdings. In July 2016, there was an announcement that SoftBank is planning to acquire Arm Holdings for $31.4 billion, which would be the largest-ever purchase of a European technology company.

Arm Holdings was officially acquired by SoftBank in September 2016. The company approved the complete transaction. The total acquisition price counted to $34 billion. Moreover, SoftBank further acquired Sprint Corporation by purchasing 76% of its share.

Sprint Corporation was acquired by SoftBank by purchasing 76% of shares
Sprint Corporation was acquired by SoftBank by purchasing 76% of shares

Masayoshi Son- Philanthropy

Masayoshi vowed to donate $120 million and his remaining salary until retirement to support victims of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in the year 2011.

Post devastating effects of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011, he criticized the nuclear industry for creating a problem that worries the Japanese thoroughly. He thus invested in a nationwide solar power network for Japan. It was announced in March 2018 that Masayoshi was investing in the biggest ever solar project.

Masayoshi Son - Latest News

11 May 2022- Masayoshi recorded another point but with the loss of about $18.6 billion from Softbank's Vision Fund Inc in the last quarter of March.

23 May 2022- Masayoshi Son was reported to meet Indian Prime minister "Narendra Singh Modi". The meeting was mainly to discuss the role of Softbank in the technology, energy, and finance sector of India and its development.

30 May 2022- After acquiring the loss, the Softbank firm gets the paycheck compensation cut from its executive employees with no change in the paycheck of the CEO.

Conclusion

Masayoshi Son is entitled to the second richest man in Japan and 74th richest man in the world according to the Forbes Rich List. He is also the founder and CEO of Softbank. Masayoshi Son is an industrialist, investor, and philanthropist. Many other important aspects of Masayoshi Son have been shared in the above context.

FAQs

Who is the CEO of Softbank?

Masayoshi Son is the founder and CEO of Softbank.

How much of SoftBank does Masayoshi Son own?

Masayoshi Son owns about 21.25% of SoftBank.

Why is SoftBank called SoftBank?

The word "Soft" stands for the synonym of the bank. Hence the word "SoftBank" stands for the general idea of having banks of software. And the reason behind using the word bank in the title is to give the general idea of being a key source of infrastructure for the society.

Who is the richest man in Japan in 2022?

Tadashi Yanai is the richest man in Japan with a net worth of US$26.1 billion.

Does SoftBank own ARM?

ARM was acquired by SoftBank in the year 2016 for a deal of $31.4 billion.

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