Uniqlo Founder Tadashi Yanai Steps Down from SoftBank Board

Christian Wylonis
SoftBank Vision Fund Headquarters in Silicon Valley

Credit: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

SoftBank announced that Tadashi Yanai, Japan’s richest person and the founder and CEO of Uniqlo’s parent company Fast Retailing, would step down from its board at the end of the year after 18 years.

SoftBank said that Yani is stepping down so that he can focus more on his business. He is a key member of SoftBank’s board and one of only three independent board members. Yanai is reportedly one of the closest advisors to SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son and has been critical of some of his investment decisions. The resignation comes at the end of a year in which some of SoftBank’s investments in startups such as WeWork and Uber have resulted in significant losses. In October, Softbank bailed out WeWork with a $9.5 billion rescue plan after a scrapped initial public offering that valued the company at $8 billion from a peak of $47 billion. A SoftBank spokesperson said that a successor has not yet been decided. The two remaining external directors on SoftBank’s board are Masami Iijima, chairman of the board of Mitsui & Co., and University of Tokyo professor Yutaka Matsuo.

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