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Uniqlo founder Tadashi Yanai quits SoftBank board

28
Dec '19
Pic: Uniqlo
Pic: Uniqlo
Tadashi Yanai, founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of Uniqlo’s parent Fast Retailing will resign as independent board member in December end after 18 years to focus on his fashion business, Japan’s SoftBank Group announced recently. Yanai is one of only three external members of a board filled with SoftBank executives and heads of its portfolio companies.

His successor has not been decided, a SoftBank spokeswoman said. Possible successors named by various Japanese media outlets include finance chief Takeshi Okazaki and Pan Ning, the head of Uniqlo’s China operations, as well as Maki Akaida, head of Uniqlo’s Japan operations.

Yanai has been a long-time ally of SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son and was known for being willing to voice his dissent at some of Son’s decisions.

The resignation comes at a time when SoftBank is battling with the fallout from the failed initial public offer of WeWork, with Son saying he misjudged co-founder Adam Neumann’s character and pledging to strengthen corporate governance at the group’s investments, according to a global newswire.

Experts are reportedly critical of SoftBank’s governance, saying it has few truly independent voices that can question Son’s judgement.

Son in November defended the board’s rigour after reporting the group’s first quarterly loss in 14 years, saying that Yanai was among the board members who excoriated him for the WeWork investment.

Yanai has said he does not want either of his two sons to take over as CEO, but both were promoted and joined the ranks of company directors last year.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)


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