SoftBank, the Japanese technology holding company, announced today that Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure and Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra are among four directors resigning immediately from the company’s board.
Misra and Claure will continue in their executive positions. Katsunori Sago, SoftBank’s chief strategy officer and governor and Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan, board member of the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, are also stepping down from the SoftBank board.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is making the changes to improve the perception of board independence. SoftBank added four new board members in June who were not affiliated with the company’s operations.
“The changes to our Board build upon the enhancements we made in June, including ensuring we have a greater proportion of External Board Directors, and further highlight SoftBank’s commitment to corporate governance,” Son said in a statement.
Son’s decision making has been called into question several times in recent years. He invested billions of dollars into WeWork, pushing the start-up to a $47 billion private valuation, only to see the company’s worth plummet in a failed attempt at going public in 2019.
The Vision Fund, the $100 billion Saudi-backed private investment vehicle, has altered investment strategies after the WeWork collapse and the pandemic shutdowns. Recent changes have included pulling back on the pace of investment and looking for companies with clearer paths to profitability.
SoftBank has also struggled to raise money for its second Vision Fund, initially slated to be a $104 billion investment vehicle. Son’s move to invest in publicly traded technology stock derivatives has also been called into question by investors as too risky.