SoftBank CEO to shift focus, expects ‘gold rush’ into technologies

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Masayoshi Son, the Chairman & CEO of Japanese multinational company SoftBank, has said he is preparing to shift his focus from turning around US wireless unit Sprint Corp. to running a $100 billion technology-investment fund.

Al Arabiya reported in January that SoftBank Group expects to invest at least $25 billion over the next five years and also concluded a non-binding MoU on October 12, 2016, with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF).


It was reported later that Oracle founder Larry Ellison will join Apple, Qualcomm and Foxconn in backing SoftBank’s record-setting technology fund, allowing the Japanese telecoms group to hit its $100 billion goal weeks ahead of schedule.

‘This is my chance’

“I haven’t accomplished anything I can be proud of in my 60 years on Earth. This is my chance,” the 59-year-old recently said. According to a Market Watch report quoting Son, the investment fund is nearly ready for its official launch. One person involved in the negotiations said that could come as early as next week.

Son said he has his eye on a “gold rush” into technologies for an age when artificial intelligence exceeds human capabilities. He says ownership of ARM, whose chip architecture is used in almost all of the world’s smartphones, will help him predict which technologies win.

That argument drew a pledge to invest $45 billion from Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, as well as investments from Abu Dhabi investor Mubadala Development Co., Apple Inc., Qualcomm Inc., Foxconn Technology Group, and Oracle Corp. Chairman Larry Ellison, according to people familiar with the matter. SoftBank has said it would contribute $25 billion.

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