Masayoshi Son

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Who is Masayoshi Son?

Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son is a Japanese entrepreneur, investor, and business magnate who has taken the world by storm with his ambitious business strategies and investments in technology companies.

As the founder and CEO of SoftBank Group, a multinational conglomerate holding company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Masayoshi has become one of the richest people in Japan.

What’s particularly impressive about Son is his early investment in Alibaba, which paid off in a big way and solidified his position as a force to be reckoned with in the tech industry. He’s been listed among the most influential people in the world by Forbes magazine, and it’s not hard to see why.

Son’s contributions to the tech industry have been nothing short of revolutionary, and he’s received numerous awards for his work.

But Son isn’t just a savvy businessman. He’s also a philanthropist who cares deeply about making a positive impact in the world. That’s why he established the SoftBank Foundation, which supports social initiatives and entrepreneurship.

With Masayoshi Son at the helm, SoftBank Group isn’t just a profit-driven enterprise. It’s a company with a conscience, and that’s a true story we all want to know.

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Masayoshi Son Personal Info

Name: Masayoshi Son
DOB: August 11, 1957
Birthplace: Kyushu, Japan.
Education: University of California, Berkeley, U.S.
Wife/Partner: Married
Hometown: Tokyo, Japan.
Famous As: One of the most successful and visionary entrepreneurs of our time, renowned for his bold investments in cutting-edge technology companies.

Masayoshi Son’s Early Life And Education

Masayoshi Son was born on August 11, 1957, in Tosu, a small town on the island of Kyushu in Japan. He was the youngest of four children in a Korean-Japanese family.

Son’s family was poor, and his father worked as a farmhand to support the family.

As a child, Son was interested in mathematics and electronics. He was also an avid reader and would often visit the local library to read books on science and technology.

At the age of 16, Son left Tosu to attend Serramonte High School in Daly City, California, where he lived with his relatives.

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Masayoshi Son’s Education

Masayoshi Son’s education began in Japan, where he attended local schools in his hometown of Tosu.

After completing middle school, Son moved to the United States to live with his relatives and attend high school. He attended Serramonte High School in Daly City, California, and graduated in 1975.

After completing high school, Son attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he pursued a double major in economics and computer science.

At Berkeley, Son was interested in entrepreneurship and would often attend seminars and networking events to meet other aspiring entrepreneurs. He also participated in a student-run business organization called the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Program.

At that same time, Masayoshi Son developed an interest in artificial intelligence and was mentored by the renowned computer scientist and AI researcher, Professor Marvin Minsky.

Son worked as a research assistant in Minsky’s AI laboratory and wrote a thesis on the application of neural networks in speech recognition.

Son graduated from UC Berkeley in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science.

After returning to Japan, Son briefly studied at the University of San Francisco’s School of Business and Management, where he took courses in marketing and finance. However, he dropped out of the program after just two weeks to focus on his business ventures.

Masayoshi Son’s Career

Masayoshi Son’s career began during his time at Berkeley. He started a business selling a pocket translator he had developed. The business was successful, and Son used the profits to fund his education.

After graduating from Berkeley in 1980, Son returned to Japan and began working as a marketer for a company called Unisonrise.

However, Masayoshi Son quickly became frustrated with the company’s bureaucracy and decided to start his own business. In 1981, he founded SoftBank, a software distribution company, with a capital investment of just $50,000.

SoftBank initially focused on distributing computer software for popular operating systems such as CP/M and MS-DOS. The company quickly expanded its product line to include games, multimedia software, and educational programs.

In 1986, SoftBank became the exclusive distributor of the popular computer game, Pac-Man, in Japan. The game was a massive success and helped to establish SoftBank as a major player in the software industry.

SoftBank also began publishing its own software titles, including a Japanese language word processor and a tax preparation program.

In the 1990s, Son shifted SoftBank’s focus from software to telecommunications. He recognized the potential of the emerging internet industry and saw an opportunity to provide internet services to consumers in Japan. In 1994,

SoftBank launched its first internet service provider, Yahoo Japan, in 1994.

The success of Yahoo Japan led to SoftBank’s expansion into the mobile phone market. In 2006, SoftBank acquired Vodafone Japan, one of the country’s largest mobile network operators.

The acquisition of Vodafone Japan was a risky move for SoftBank, as the company took on significant debt to finance the deal. However, the acquisition proved to be a success, and SoftBank’s mobile phone business became one of its most profitable divisions.

Masayoshi Son’s most significant investment came in 1999 when SoftBank invested $20 million in Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company. The investment turned out to be a wise decision, as Alibaba’s value skyrocketed over the years.

SoftBank’s stake in Alibaba is currently worth over $100 billion, making it one of the most valuable investments in the history of the technology industry.

In addition to his work with SoftBank, Son has invested in several startups and served as a board member for several companies, including Yahoo and Sprint.

Masayoshi Son also founded SoftBank Robotics, a division of SoftBank that specializes in developing humanoid robots.

Masayoshi Son Net Worth

Masayoshi Son has a real-time net worth of $22.1 billion as of March 6, 2023, according to Forbes.

The majority of Son’s wealth comes from his stake in SoftBank Group, which is valued at around $50 billion. SoftBank’s investments in companies such as Alibaba, Uber, and WeWork have also contributed to Son’s wealth.

Masayoshi Son’s net worth has fluctuated over the years, depending on the performance of SoftBank and its investments.

In 2019, SoftBank’s investment in WeWork led to a significant drop in the company’s valuation, which negatively impacted Son’s net worth. However, SoftBank’s subsequent investment in DoorDash and its successful IPO in 2020 helped to boost Son’s net worth.

Despite his immense wealth, Son has pledged to donate the majority of his fortune to charity.

In 2010, Son established the SoftBank Foundation, which supports various social initiatives and entrepreneurship programs.

Masayoshi Son has pledged to donate $30 billion to a new fund called The Vision Fund 2, which aims to invest in emerging technology companies.

Masayoshi Son Personal Life

Masayoshi Son’s personal life is relatively private. He prefers to keep details about his personal life out of the public eye. However, some information about his personal life is known.

Son has been married twice, and he has two children. He is known to be a fan of sports, particularly baseball and soccer.

Masayoshi Son is the owner of the SoftBank Hawks, a professional baseball team in Japan. He also owns a stake in the British soccer team Armajaro Trading.

In addition to his interest in sports, Son is a fan of music and has been known to play the guitar. He has also expressed a keen interest in artificial intelligence and the potential benefits it could bring to society.

Son is described as a private person who prefers to focus on his work and philanthropic efforts.

Masayoshi Son Parents

There is limited information available about Masayoshi Son’s parents. Here’s what we know about them:

Masayoshi Son was born to Korean parents who were living in Japan.

His father’s name was Sun Il, and his mother’s name was Lee Yang-ok. They were both immigrants from Korea who had moved to Japan to seek better opportunities.

Son has spoken publicly about his parents’ struggles and their determination to succeed. He has credited his parents’ perseverance and hard work as a source of inspiration for his own success.

There are also reports that Son’s parents were initially against his decision to drop out of school and pursue a career as an entrepreneur. However, they eventually came to support him and his vision for SoftBank.

While there is limited information available about Masayoshi Son’s parents, it is clear that they played a significant role in shaping his values and work ethic.

Masayoshi Son Siblings

There is not much information available about Masayoshi Son’s siblings.

However, in his book, “The SoftBank Revolution,” Son mentions having a younger brother who is a graduate of Harvard Business School. He also notes that his brother has worked in the finance industry.

Other sources also indicate that Masayoshi Son has a younger sister who lives in Japan. However, there is very little information available about her.

It is unclear if Masayoshi Son has any other siblings besides his younger brother and sister.

Masayoshi Son is known to be a private person and prefers to keep details about his personal life, including his family, out of the public eye.

Masayoshi Son Wife (Partner)

Masayoshi Son has been married twice. His first marriage was to a Japanese woman. They have a son together. However, very little information is available about their relationship or the reason for their divorce.

Masayoshi Son’s second marriage is to a Korean woman, a former SoftBank employee. They met at SoftBank and got married in 2005. The couple has a daughter together.

Son’s wife, whose name is not publicly known, is said to be very private and prefers to stay out of the public eye. She is reportedly involved in philanthropic efforts, particularly those related to education.

Masayoshi Son is very close to his family. He credits them for supporting him throughout his career.

Masayoshi Son Children

Masayoshi Son has two children, a son and a daughter.

Masayoshi Son’s son was born to his first wife, a Japanese woman. There’s very little information about him, including his name and current occupation.

Masayoshi Son’s daughter was born to his second wife. While her name is not publicly known, she has been described as being interested in fashion and has reportedly attended fashion events with her father.

In a 2017 interview with Forbes, Masayoshi Son spoke about his children and their upbringing. He mentioned that his daughter was interested in fashion and that his son was interested in technology, just like him. He also noted that his children had been exposed to different cultures and had spent time living in both Japan and the United States.

Very little information is available about Masayoshi Son’s children, as he prefers to keep details about their personal life out of the public eye.

Masayoshi Son’s Challenges and Obstacles

Throughout his career, Masayoshi Son has encountered various challenges and obstacles, with some of the most significant ones listed below:

  • Early business failures: Masayoshi Son faced early failures in his business ventures. His first business, a language translation device, was unsuccessful, and he lost all the investment from his family and friends. His second venture, an arcade game distribution company, also failed.
  • Dot-com crash: The dot-com bubble burst in 2000, leading to a significant decline in the value of SoftBank’s portfolio. It led to a significant loss of wealth for Masayoshi Son. He had to lay off a large number of employees to keep the company afloat.
  • Failed merger attempts: In 2013, SoftBank attempted to merge with T-Mobile, but the deal was blocked by regulatory agencies. Similarly, in 2017, SoftBank attempted to merge Sprint with T-Mobile, but the deal was called off after the two sides could not reach an agreement.
  • WeWork investment: In 2019, SoftBank invested heavily in WeWork, a coworking startup, but the company’s valuation and financial performance came under scrutiny, leading to a significant loss for SoftBank.

Facing these challenges, Masayoshi Son has continued to push forward and has remained committed to his vision for SoftBank.

Masayoshi Son Controversies

Masayoshi Son has been involved in several controversies throughout his career.

  • Insider trading allegations: In 1999, Masayoshi Son was accused of insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission (SESC). He was accused of making a profit of around 60 billion yen by selling shares in the company Justsystem shortly before the announcement of a major deal that caused the company’s share price to rise. However, Son denied any wrongdoing, and the case was ultimately dropped due to a lack of evidence.
  • WeWork investment: As mentioned earlier, SoftBank’s investment in WeWork came under scrutiny in 2019, with some critics arguing that the company was overvalued and that SoftBank had not done enough due diligence before investing. SoftBank ultimately lost billions of dollars on the investment, and the controversy led to significant changes in SoftBank’s investment strategy.
  • Executive compensation: In 2019, SoftBank faced criticism for its executive compensation practices, with some investors arguing that Masayoshi Son and other top executives were being overpaid. The controversy led to changes in SoftBank’s compensation policies, including a reduction in Son’s pay.
  • Saudi Arabia ties: Masayoshi Son has faced criticism for his close ties to Saudi Arabia, particularly in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. SoftBank has received significant investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and Son has been criticized for not speaking out more strongly against the country’s human rights record.

Despite these controversies, Masayoshi Son remains one of the most successful and influential business leaders in the world. He has continued to push forward despite the challenges he has faced.

Masayoshi Son Accomplishments

Masayoshi Son has accomplished a lot throughout his career. Here are some of his most significant accomplishments:

  1. Masayoshi Son founded SoftBank in 1981 and has built it into one of the most successful and influential technology companies in the world. Under his leadership, SoftBank has invested in a wide range of companies, including Alibaba, Yahoo Japan, Uber, and ARM Holdings.
  2. Masayoshi Son has been a strong advocate for emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things. He has made significant investments in these areas through SoftBank and has been a vocal proponent of their potential to transform the world.
  3. In 2017, Masayoshi Son launched the Vision Fund, a $100 billion investment fund focused on emerging technologies. The fund has made significant investments in companies like WeWork, DoorDash, and TikTok, and has helped to propel SoftBank to new heights.
  4. Masayoshi Son is a committed philanthropist and has donated billions of dollars to charitable causes over the years. He has been particularly focused on promoting education and technology in developing countries and has established several charitable foundations to support these efforts.

Masayoshi Son’s accomplishments are a testament to his vision, innovation, and determination. He has played a significant role in shaping the global technology landscape, and his impact will likely be felt for years to come.

Masayoshi Son Recognition and Awards

Masayoshi Son has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to the world of business and technology.

  1. In 2021, Masayoshi Son was awarded Japan’s Medal of Honor. The award recognized his contributions to the country’s economy and his efforts to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.
  2. Masayoshi Son has consistently been included in Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s billionaires. As of 2021, his net worth was estimated to be over $40 billion.
  3. In 2016, Masayoshi Son was named one of Foreign Policy magazine’s Global Thinkers. The award recognized his contributions to the global technology industry and his philanthropic efforts.
  4. Masayoshi Son has been included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World multiple times. He was first included on the list in 2000 and has been included several times since then.
  5. In 2015, Masayoshi Son was named the World Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young. The award recognized his innovative approach to business and his contributions to the global technology industry.

Masayoshi Son’s awards and recognitions reflect his unique vision and innovative approach to investing that has helped to shape the global technology landscape.

Masayoshi Son is a remarkable entrepreneur and business leader whose contributions to the world of technology and investing have made him a highly influential figure.

Beyond his business accomplishments, Masayoshi Son is also a committed philanthropist who has donated billions of dollars to charitable causes. He has been particularly focused on promoting education and technology in developing countries and has established several charitable foundations to support these efforts.

Masayoshi Son’s personal and professional journey has not been without challenges and controversies. However, his perseverance, determination, and willingness to take risks have enabled him to achieve remarkable success and make a significant impact on the world.

Masayoshi Son’s life and career serve as an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders around the world.

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