When parents tell their child they are the smartest child in the world and they will be great, often times it is more of a statement of encouragement rather than that of prophecy. For Masayoshi Son, when his father told him “You are a genius, No 1 in Japan; you will be a big shot”, it was a prophecy. The boy grew up to be the 45th richest man in the world and just according to his father’s words, the richest man in the whole of Japan.
He is considered one of the world’s biggest philanthropists and has recently pledged $100 billion to fund various startups all over the world. The tech investor has business in three of the major countries in the world and is considered one of the leading minds in the field of technology. So, who is Masayoshi Son? what’s his background and how did he make his money? Read below to find out.
Who is Masayoshi Son of Softbank?
Although he’s a man strongly tied to Japan, both from a cultural and business perspective, Masayoshi’s ancestry is Korean. His grandparents had relocated to Japan from Korea, searching for a better life. His family upon relocation took the name Yasumoto as part of their effort to fit into Japanese society. When Masayoshi grew older, he reversed back to Son as a way of encouraging Korean children who grew up in Japan to embrace their heritage.
Son, right from the beginning of his life had a passion for business. His passion drove him to secure a meeting with Den Fujita, Japan’s McDonald’s President when he was a teenager. Den Fujita advised him to get into the computer business. At the time, very few million people in the world had the insight into what computers would or could become.
Understanding the full import of what pursuing a career in computer science would entail, he would relocate to America, started taking English lessons while simultaneously familiarizing himself with the field of computer science.
When Masa, which he popular goes by in the tech industry was 16, he moved to California and graduated from high school after three weeks. His higher education consisted of two years at Holy Names University and the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, he was an economics major and minored in computer science.
Convinced of the future of computers, he made his first foray into the computer-driven business by designing an electronic translator. It was bought by the Sony Corporation for $1.7 million and he made another $1.5 million from importing video game machines and installing them in public spaces. He started his first company, Unison after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1980.
Masayoshi Son is a man who has made his money from being an early investor in various tech companies, a journey that started with Yahoo! and Alibaba. His investments in Alibaba is currently worth $108.7 billion as of October 2018; he invested $20 million in the e-commerce company in 1999. His early investment in Yahoo helped him build the Yahoo BB! which is now currently the biggest broadband provider in the whole of Japan.
Son’s holding company, SoftBank (a Tokyo based Japanese multinational holding conglomerate) was established in 1981. Since its creation, the company has made several acquisitions. It bought Vodafone K.K in 2006. It is also the owner of ARM Holdings bought in a deal that was completed in September 2016.
The magnate’s reputation for believing in the best of humanity and using technology to improve human lives has driven him to investments in Solar Power as a way of eradicating the dangers of the nuclear industry and as a direct response to the tragedy that befell Fukushima in his home country, Japan.
Son, known as a high-risk investor is also a philanthropist and one of the biggest on the planet. He’s estimated to have given over $500 million in philanthropic efforts with a particular $119 million dedicated to children who lost their parents in the Tohoku earthquake.
What is His Net Worth?
Masayoshi Son is currently worth a whopping $23 billion. His wealth comes from investments in multiple successful companies such as Alibaba, US Telecom company, Sprint, and Yahoo! Japan. He also owns a Japanese baseball team, Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.
Who is The Wife?
They say behind every successful man, is a strong woman being a pillar of support and the case is not different with Masayoshi Son. The billionaire met his wife, Masami Ohno way back when he was studying in California. Masami’s is the daughter of a doctor and she is two years older than the billionaire, but that did not hinder their happiness as they went ahead to get married after school.
The couple has two daughters, but Masayoshi prefers to keep his private life private and thus, there is little information regarding his wife and daughters at this time.