Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Uniqlo founder Yanai resigns as SoftBank board member after 18 years

Stock MarketsDec 27, 2019 07:11AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's SoftBank Group Corp (T:9984) said Tadashi Yanai, founder and CEO of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing (T:9983), will resign as independent board member at the end of the month after 18 years on the job to focus on his fashion business.

A longtime ally and sometime critic of SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, the billionaire is one of only three external members of a board filled with SoftBank executives and heads of its portfolio companies.

The resignation comes at a time when SoftBank is battling with the fallout from the failed IPO of WeWork, with Son saying he misjudged co-founder Adam Neumann's character and pledging to strengthen corporate governance at the group's investments.

However, experts are critical of SoftBank's governance, saying it has few truly independent voices that can question Son's judgement.

"They have low governance standards," said Nicholas Benes of The Board Director Training Institute of Japan, a non-profit focused on corporate governance training.

"If they don't require higher standards of themselves, it might be hard to require them of investee companies," he said in an interview last month.

Son in November defended the board's rigour after reporting the group's first quarterly loss in 14 years, saying that Yanai was among the board members who excoriated him for the WeWork investment.

"Almost all the board members gave me a hard time. I ended up being very exhausted," he said.

Yanai, Japan's richest man, along with Son, are among a handful of Japanese founder-CEOs who are also household names.

Yanai was known for being willing to voice his dissent at some of Son's decisions.

His successor has not been decided, a SoftBank spokeswoman said.

SoftBank lost one of its most outspoken voices when another outside director, Shigenobu Nagamori, founder and CEO of Nidec Corp (T:6594), stepped down two years ago.

The other independent directors currently on SoftBank's board are Masami Iijima, chairman of trading house Mitsui & Co (T:8031), and professor Yutaka Matsuo from the University of Tokyo, a highly renowned artificial intelligence expert with little corporate experience.

Both Yanai and Son have made and then shelved plans to hand over the reins of their companies in the past, with 70-year-old Yanai previously saying he would retire at 65.

Yanai has said he does not want either of his two sons to take over as CEO, but both were promoted and joined the ranks of company directors last year.

Possible successors named by media have included finance chief Takeshi Okazaki and Pan Ning, the head of Uniqlo's China operations, as well as Maki Akaida, head of Uniqlo's Japan operations.

Uniqlo founder Yanai resigns as SoftBank board member after 18 years
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Darryl Parvin
Darryl Parvin Dec 29, 2019 2:00PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
SoftBank is steaming towards disaster but Son is using his Arab backers money to prop up the SP until he can turn it around. He's dreaming. Son has no particular business skills beyond using a lot of money to buy into things. And he's made too many mistakes now to save himself. He got lucky with Yahoo Japan and Ali Baba. WeWork and Uber are doomed. There's 30 other ventures he's got, nearly all dogs.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email