Alibaba's Jack Ma quits board of Japan's struggling SoftBank
Chinese billionaire Jack Ma is stepping down from the board of SoftBank Group Corp., as the Japanese technology company struggles over its risky investments such as office-sharing venture WeWork.
Tokyo-based SoftBank announced Ma's resignation on Monday, ahead of releasing financial results. It did not say why he was leaving.
SoftBank announced three new board members, including SoftBank Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto and Waseda University professor Yuko Kawamoto.
Another new member is Lip-Bu Tan, founder of Walden International, a venture capital firm focused on computer chips, cloud, and artificial intelligence. He is also Chief Executive of Cadence Design, a US electronic design automation software and engineering services company.
Also, on Monday, SoftBank said it was buying back its own shares, of up to 500 billion yen ($4.7 billion) in value, to shore up its bottom line.
SoftBank is a major investor in Alibaba. Ma, who joined the SoftBank board in 2007, has a close relationship with SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son.
Recently, the Chinese billionaire has been focusing on philanthropy, such as donating masks and test kits to help in the efforts against the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Earlier in April, Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation announced donation of essential medical supplies, including face masks and COVID-19 test kits to India and six other nations to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
Besides India, the medical supplies will be donated to Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
"We are one with the global community in the intense battle to protect all families against COVID-19. We are committed to doing everything we can to make a difference, most importantly by sourcing these supplies and overcoming logistical challenges to get the medical supplies to where they are needed as fast as we can," the two foundations statement said.
Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)