Sun Zhengyi told shareholders that SoftBank will not prioritize short-term trading gains, because after the collapse of Greensill and Katerra, the company behind the world’s most radical technology fund was criticized for failing in governance.
At the annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday, the 63-year-old billionaire founder defended the governance structure of the Japanese conglomerate, saying that the board of directors is not “Sun Zhengyi’s solo show.”
“I personally think we should pay special attention to governance,” Sun Zhengyi said in a 90-minute online event. “We plan to manage our investments in accordance with compliance and other rules, so that the focus is not on using financial engineering techniques to pursue short-term benefits.”
After being approved at the annual meeting, SoftBank’s nine-member board of directors added five non-executive directors, four of which are considered independent.
In recent years, several well-known directors, including the chief executive officer of clothing company Fast Retailing, Yanai Masa, and the co-founder of Chinese Internet group Alibaba, Jack Ma, have resigned.Softbank’s first female director Yuko Kawamoto Step down Last month, it also called on the group’s executives and employees to improve governance.
Despite SoftBank’s record last month, Sun Zhengyi still faced thorny issues raised by investors on Wednesday Highest ever The annual net profit of a Japanese company serves as its US$100 billion Vision Fund Be promoted The listing of portfolio companies including Coupang and DoorDash.
Despite its outstanding performance, SoftBank’s share price has fallen 28% from its 21-year high in mid-March. Additional share repurchase After completing the $23 billion repurchase program.
Sun Zhengyi said on Wednesday that stock repurchases are still an option, but questioned a shareholder’s claim that stock repurchases were the only way the company managed to increase its stock price.
The issue of group investment supervision has also resurfaced. Katla collapsed, An American construction start-up company supported by the Vision Fund. Katerra was Greenhill, This supply chain finance company backed by SoftBank also closed down this year.
Sun Zhengyi told investors in May that he will reduce the scale of investment SB PolarisThe SoftBank unit, which was established last year, is called the “Nasdaq Whale” because of its huge bets on US technology stocks. Its options trading was ultimately unprofitable, and since July, the sector’s derivatives losses have reached 5.6 billion U.S. dollars.
Another concern for shareholders is succession, because Sun Zhengyi said in recent months that he may continue to run the company after he is 69 years old. Sun Zhengyi has previously stated that he will be handed over to the next generation of management when he is in his 60s.
“Even after 69 years old, I may be deeply involved in management as president or chairman,” he said.
The SoftBank founder added that he hopes to narrow down the list of possible successors before the age of 70, and will search inside and outside the organization, including founders of companies backed by the Vision Fund and its $30 billion sequel fund.
“Although I mainly focus on the operation of the Vision Fund, finding a successor is one of my top tasks, and I will ensure that this work is completed,” Sun Zhengyi added.