Masayoshi Son is a Japanese business magnate and philanthropist of a Korean descendant. He was named by Forbes among the 45 most powerful people in 2013. Son was born in Tosu, Saga Prefecture, Japan on August 11, 1957. Son’s grandparents moved from Korea to Japan. His grandparents adopted the family surname as (安本) or Yasumoto which Masayoshi used from his childhood but he later moved to his Korean surname Son. He later moved to California, U.S for study purposes. He’s also currently the richest person in Japan.
Interests and Education
Son studied English, Computer Science, and Economics. At the age of 16, he moved to California for studies where he got admission in the Holy Names University. After 2 years of his studies, he transferred to the University of California. Den Fujita, McDonalds Japan President, was the main inspiration behind his choice of career. He once got a chance to meet Den, who guided & inspired him to choose business as his career.
— Martin Pelletier (@MPelletierCIO) September 15, 2017
Softbank & Career Breakthrough
It was the time during his studies when he realized that Computer Science is the future of the business market. He became confident that it would ignite a commercial revolution. He then started working on Microchips and from then decided to produce at least one microchip per day. His patented microchip sold at Sharp Electronics for $450,000.
Son founded Softbank in 1981. This company workes on telecommunications and internet. Son himself is the CEO and current Chairman of Softbank. He also joined BB Technologies Corporation and named it Softbank BB later. Sprint Nextel, U.S mobile phone carrier company was also acquired by Softbank in 2013 for $22 Billion. Other than this, Saudi Arabian government has the biggest investments in Softbank’s Visionary fund, which is about $45 Billion in 5 years. Vodafone, in 2006, sold its mobile division to Softbank for 1.75 trillion Japanese Yen. Masayoshi also joined Yahoo! in 2000 as President and CEO.
Current NetWorth and Global Status
According to Forbes, Masayoshi’s net worth is $21.6 Billion while he has reached the $22.4 Billion at peak. He is ranked as 10th Richest in Tech globally. He is also ranked #34 in the list of billionaires around the globe. His company Softbank is ranked as 62nd largest in the world while it ranks 3rd largest in Japan after Toyota and Mitsubishi. SoftBank’s market capitalization has increased by 557%, the fourth largest relative increase in the world.
Son is an active philanthropist. He played a vital role in Japan’s recovery from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Other than this he was also very active in Solar Power Projects in Japan. He also donated around $120 Million for the victims of Japan’s Tohoku Tsunami. The most influencing part of Masayoshi’s life is his art of taking calculated risks and managing them. These risks really do pay him off in the end. His methodology in establishing step-by-step strategies to overcome challenges during the planning phase in businesses has been a great help for young entrepreneurs around the globe.