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SoftBank CEO Talks To Investors, Promises To Be More 'Careful'

SoftBank CEO Talks To Investors, Promises To Be More 'Careful'

SoftBank Group Corporation (OTC: SFTBY) Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son on Monday told investors that he would be more "careful" with his investment decisions going forward, Reuters reported.

What Happened

"I promise you I'll start to be more careful and listen. My view doesn't change, but my behavior becomes a little more careful," Son told investors at an event in Manhattan, sources told Reuters.

Son told the attendees that he didn't pay enough heed to the opinion of investors and other board members, according to Reuters. The billionaire added that the company's stock trading at a discount against the value of its portfolio presented a good opportunity for investors.

He further added that if 15% of SoftBank's bet fails, another 15% could be large successes, and the rest could be "passable" investments, Reuters noted.

Son pointed out the merger of subsidiary Sprint Corporation (NYSE: S) with T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) as a success for the Japanese investment giant.

Why It Matters

Activist investor Elliott Management Corporation increased its stake to about 3% in SoftBank and has been pushing for changes since.

Elliott has demanded that SoftBank buys back a significant chunk of its shares, change the decision-making process, improve transparency, and make the board of management more independent and diverse.

Son, who co-founded SoftBank and has led it to become one of the largest investment powerhouses across the globe, has come under increased scrutiny after a series of high-profile underperforming investments.

Some of the key portfolio companies, including Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) and Slack Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WORK), have failed to turn profits.

Son's bet on technology-savvy co-working space startup WeWork led SoftBank to post its first quarterly loss in 14 years.

The SoftBank CEO told investors on Monday that the new CEO installed by the firm, Sandeep Mathrani, would turn around WeWork's fortune, but it could take years, per Reuters.

Price Action

SoftBank's shares closed 2.7% higher at $23.62 in the otc market on Monday.

Photo Credit: nobihaya via WIkimedia.


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