TOKYO: SoftBank Group Corp said that Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma will resign from its board, in the latest departure by a high-profile ally of CEO Masayoshi Son.
The departure of Ma, who retired as Alibaba’s executive chairman in September, comes as he pulls back from formal business roles to focus on philanthropy.
SoftBank will propose three new appointments to the board, including group Chief Financial Officer Yoshimoto Goto, at its annual general meeting on June 25. The number of board members will expand to 13.
SoftBank will also propose the election of Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of chip design software firm Cadence Design Systems who is also chairman of venture capital firm Walden International, and Yuko Kawamoto, a professor at Waseda Business School as outside directors. Kawamoto will become its only female board member.
That meets a demand from activist investor Elliott Management, which has pressed SoftBank to improve board diversity, and also wants a new subcommittee to oversee the investment process at the $100 billion Vision Fund.
Son’s top-down manage