Founder, Chairman, and CEO of SOFTBANK Inc.
“Japan’s most renowned digital-age entrepreneur”
Masayoshi Son is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Softbank Corporation, Japan’s largest distributor of software and systems hardware, and Japan’s largest publisher of computer magazines and books. The corporation has also grown to become a leading producer of technology-related trade shows and expositions.
The innovative flare that is characteristic of Son is the basis of Softbank’s success. His strategy of diversification has given Softbank a strong position in several key areas. The corporation’s mission is to be a premier infrastructure provider to the computer industry, creating the means by which the leading software developers, hardware manufacturers, and service providers can display, explain, and distribute their products.
Softbank is continually expanding into new areas. In 1988, it began multinational activities by establishing Softbank America, which coordinates Softbank’s business in North America. Over the past several years, Softbank has expanded to international markets through a series of joint ventures, partnerships, and acquisitions. For example, in 1990, a joint venture called Novell Japan was created with Novell, Inc. and involved companies such as Canon, Fujitsu, NEC, Sony, and Toshiba. Son has currently begun investing in various Internet companies and already holds a 31 percent stake in Yahoo! Inc.
In addition to the multifaceted role Son has at Softbank, he also serves on the board of directors of Cisco Systems, Inc., the leading global supplier of enterprise networks. Forbes Magazine has called him “Japan’s hottest entrepreneur,” and for the past two years has listed Son among the top ten of the “global power elite.” U.S. News & World Report has also named him “Japan’s most renowned digital-age entrepreneur.”