Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma stepped down from the board of SoftBank Group Corp. after the struggling Japanese conglomerate reported an $8.9 billion annual net loss. The company has reported an operating loss of 1.36 trillion yen ($12.6 billion) saying it remains difficult to forecast the medium-term impact on the Company’s business and financial results due to the ongoing pandemic.
Ma resigned as SoftBank's board member after 13 years of service and is expected to “return to education” and focus on philanthropy as per his open letter penned in September 2018. SoftBank has proposed re-election of 10 out of 11 board members and three new appointments, including group Chief Financial Officer Yoshimoto Goto, taking the overall number of Board members to 13.
In its annual financial report ending March 31, SoftBank Group said that the company’s investment businesses have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainty will remain over the next fiscal year if the health crisis continues. While the company expects no significant impact on the telecommunication business currently, it expects a surge in the e-commerce business of Z Holdings Corporation and a decline in the advertisement sales and use of hotel and restaurant reservation services.
The conglomerate said that the restrictions imposed by countries as a part of COVID-19 response have slowed down the flow of people and goods, casting a shadow over the global economy. It added that the global stock markets have plunged and the market volatility remains despite the prompt measures taken by the monetary authorities of various countries. SoftBank Group has doubled the amount it plans to spend buying back shares announcing that it will repurchase as much as 500 billion yen ($4.7bn) worth of its own stock by March 2021.