|Masayoshi Son Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 7 in|
|Date of Birth||August 11, 1957|
Masayoshi Son is a Japanese technology entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist who is best known as the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company that focuses on investment management. By December 2022, he held a 34.2% stake in the company. He has often been mocked as a ‘gambler’ because the vast majority of his investments have failed. It has often been argued that Masayoshi’s reputation as an investor has largely been saved by his USD 20 million investment in 2000 in the Alibaba Group (a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology), a stake that had risen to about USD 110 billion by October 2018. For many years, Masayoshi had even held the unwanted record for being the person who had lost the most money in history, a mantle that was later assumed by Elon Musk.
Masa, Mr. Ten Times, The Bald Fraud
Tosu, Saga Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan
He splits his time between Tokyo, Kantō, Honshu, Japan, and Woodside, San Mateo County, California, United States.
Masayoshi used to take a keen interest in subjects like English and computer science during his school days in Japan. When he was about 16 years old, he moved to California and finished high school in 3 weeks by taking the required exams at the Serramonte High School in northern San Mateo County, California.
After his high school graduation, he joined the University of California, Berkeley, a public land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. He graduated from there with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1980.
Technology Entrepreneur, Investor, Philanthropist
- Father – Son Sam-heon (Business Owner)
- Siblings – Taizo Son (Younger Brother) (Entrepreneur, Investor, CEO of Mistletoe, Inc. (a venture capital investment services firm), Chairman of GungHo Online Entertainment, Inc. (a mobile gaming company)). He has 1 other younger brother and an older brother.
- Others – Son Jong-kyung (Grandfather) (Miner). His father-in-law was a doctor.
On March 20, 2023, Masayoshi Son had a net worth of $21.1 billion according to Forbes.
5 ft 7 in or 170 cm
68 kg or 150 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Masayoshi has dated –
- Masami Ohno (1979-Present) – Masayoshi met Masami Ohno in the late 1970s while they both were students at the University of California, Berkeley. The couple got married in 1979 and they have 2 daughters together.
Race / Ethnicity
He is of Korean descent.
- Slender frame
- Receding hairline
- Round-ish, puffy face
- Cheerful smile
- Clean-shaven look
Masayoshi Son Facts
- Born in 1957 in Tosu, Japan, Masayoshi is a 3rd generation ‘Zainichi Korean’. The term refers to ethnic Koreans who have permanent residency status in Japan and whose ancestors immigrated to Japan before 1945.
- Masayoshi’s father used to raise pigs and chickens, and later started an illegal saké (an alcoholic beverage of Japanese origin made by fermenting rice that has been polished to remove the bran) business. The business went on to become so profitable that his family became the first in its town to own a car.
- During his time at the University of California, Berkeley, with the help of some professors, Masayoshi created an electronic translator that he sold for USD 1.7 million to Sharp Corporation, a Japanese multinational company that designs and manufactures electronic products.
- Around this time, Masayoshi also ran an entrepreneurial venture under which he imported video game machines from Japan and installed them in dormitories and restaurants in California. He earned USD 1.5 million through this venture.
- After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980, he started a video game company called Unison World. He later sold it for around USD 2 million. Masayoshi naturalized as a Japanese citizen in 1990.
- In 1995, as one of the earliest investors in internet firms, he bought a stake in Yahoo!, an American web services provider. In September 2001, Masayoshi established Yahoo! BroadBand with the Japanese subsidiary of Yahoo!.
- A few years later, Yahoo! BroadBand acquired Japan Telecom, the then-3rd-largest broadband and landline provider in the country. Yahoo! BroadBand went on to become Japan’s leading broadband provider.
- In the 2010s, through his holdings in SoftBank Group Corp., Masayoshi acquired a 76% share (which later swelled to 84%) in Sprint Corporation, an American telecom company that was the 4th-largest mobile network operator in the United States before it merged with T-Mobile US (an American wireless network operator) in April 2020.
- In 2011, Masayoshi pledged nearly USD 120 million, and his remaining salary until retirement, for the support and rehabilitation of the victims of the Tōhoku earthquake and the tsunami caused by it. It was, at that time, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan, and the 4th most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900. The official figures released in 2021 reported 19,759 deaths, 6,242 injuries, and 2,553 people missing.
- In September 2016, SoftBank Group Corp. acquired Arm Holdings (a British semiconductor and software design company) for approximately £24 billion ($34 billion) – the then-largest purchase of a European technology company.
- Masayoshi’s 3-story Tokyo mansion, valued at USD 50 million, includes a golf range that is fitted with technology that can mimic the weather conditions of the world’s top golf courses.
- He also owns the SoftBank Hawks, a professional Japanese baseball team that competes in Nippon Professional Baseball, the highest level of baseball in Japan.
Featured Image by Forbes Asia / Instagram