SoftBank’s Vision Fund Cutting “At Least” 150 Employees, About 30% Of Its Workforce

It’s officially “belt tightening” time over at SoftBank. Yes, it appears that being a “visionary” can only get you so far and when performance wanes and the cash spigot starts to dry up, real world consequences take hold. 

SoftBank is now officially planning for cuts of “at least 30%” from its Vision Fund, new reporting from Bloomberg says this week. The company started to inform some workers on Thursday that the reductions would be taking place, the report says. 

At least 150 workers of its roughly 500 employees at its Vision Fund will be affected. SoftBank and Masayoshi Son didn’t comment on the news, but Son noted back in August that he was going to be putting cost saving measures into place after his Vision Fund posted a monstrous $23 billion loss.

Recall, just days ago, we wrote about the “fiercely loyal” top lieutenant to Masayoshi Son that has been behind him and has supported his decisions for years. 

The fall guy “guru”, profiled in an FT piece out last weekend, is Yoshimitsu Goto, who was described as being “fiercely loyal” to Masayoshi Son. Masa hired Goto all the way back in 2000 after stating: “I like the look of his eyes. Let’s hire him.”

Perhaps Goto isn’t just getting press now because of SoftBank’s recent troubles – instead, perhaps it is because three of Masa’s top executives have jumped ship over the last 18 months and Goto has been the exception.

As FT notes, SoftBank has lost its chief operating officer Marcelo Claure and strategy chief Katsunori Sago. Rajeev Misra, head of SoftBank’s Vision Fund, all in short order in less than 2 years. 

Goto, in the interim, has become “indispensable”, the report says. And that’s not because he continues to defend Masa as the company’s Vision Fund suffers from terrible performance. 

Masa’s “guru” says that the plan with the Vision Fund is to “stay the course”: “I won’t be surprised [if Son changed his mind] but I don’t think that’s likely. Investment firm is this company’s ultimate style. The basis of Mr Son’s thinking is that change is the best growth strategy to avert risks.”

We wouldn’t be surprised if Goto winds up being the fall guy for any future layoffs or underperformance…

Read further at ZeroHedge

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