Softbank Chief Masayoshi Son Steps Down From Board Of Chinese E-Commerce Giant AlibabaSoftBank chief Masayoshi Son. (Koki Nagahama via Getty Images)

SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son on Thursday (25 June) announced that he would step down from the board of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The announcement made at the annual general meeting of shareholders marks the end of an era as Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma's resignation from the board of SoftBank Group also went into effect from Thursday.

SoftBank did not cite any reason when it first announced in May that the Alibaba co-founder would be stepping down from its board, after serving it for nearly 13 years.

Son invested $20 million in Alibaba in 2000 -- a bet that turned into $60 billion when Alibaba went public in 2014, according to CNN.

The two business leaders have maintained close relationship over the years.

SoftBank on Thursday also announced additional corporate governance enhancements, including the election by shareholders of two new independent directors.

Lip-Bu Tan, Founder and Chairman of Walden International Inc. and CEO of Cadence Design Systems Inc., and Yuko Kawamoto, Professor at Waseda Business School (Graduate School of Business and Finance), were elected with the support of voting shareholders.

Yoshimitsu Goto, Senior Vice President, CFO, CISO & Chief Sustainability Officer at SoftBank Group, was also elected to the Board of Directors.

The new additions will expand SBG's Board to 13 Directors, including four independent directors.

"Our latest efforts build on SoftBank's commitment to increase the diversity of our Board and add new and fresh perspectives, as well as bring our corporate governance in line with both global standards and the expectations of Japanese and international investors," said Son.

"We welcome Tan-san, Kawamoto-san and Goto-san to the Board, and we are confident our new Board reflects the right mix of skills, experience and perspectives as we execute on our vision."

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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