Log in
Show password
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Proxy adviser Glass Lewis opposes SoftBank Group board nomination

06/15/2020 | 09:51pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo

By Sam Nussey

Proxy adviser Glass Lewis has urged SoftBank Group Corp shareholders to vote against the nomination to the board of a new outside director, in a sign of dissent with Chief Executive Masayoshi Son's proposed corporate governance changes.

Glass Lewis opposes the nomination of Lip-Bu Tan, saying he is "overboarded". Tan sits on boards including that of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co as well as being CEO of chip design software company Cadence Design Systems Inc and chairman of venture capital firm Walden International.

"The time commitment required by this number of board memberships, in conjunction with the executive duties, may preclude this nominee from fulfilling the responsibilities to this company's shareholders," Glass Lewis said in a report.

Neither Tan nor SoftBank immediately responded to Reuters requests for comment.

SoftBank plans to double its number of outside directors to four out of 13 at a shareholder meeting on June 25. The plan follows a torrid year with the group plunging to a record annual operating loss as Son's massive, gut-driven bets on startups such as U.S. office space sharing firm WeWork unravelled.

SoftBank's shareholder meeting is traditionally a congratulatory affair, with proposals passing comfortably and shareholders offering Son praise.

Critics, however, contend the proposals that will be voted on this time will do little to improve checks on Son.

Glass Lewis recommends approving the other proposed new outside director, Yuko Kawamoto, a professor at Waseda Business School who would become the board's only woman, along with the elevation of group Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto to the board.

It is also in favour of the reappointment of directors including Rajeev Misra, head of the $100 billion (£79.2 billion) Vision Fund, whose pay doubled last year even as the fund posted a 1.8 trillion yen operating loss.

Proxy adviser Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) backs all management proposals, including Tan's nomination.

Malaysia-born Tan's venture capital and chip industry background gives him overlap with tech investing behemoth SoftBank, which owns chip designer Arm.

The additions to the board would follow the exit over the last six months of longtime allies of Son - Tadashi Yanai, CEO of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing Co Ltd, and Jack Ma, co-founder of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALIBABA GROUP HOLDING LIMITED 0.14% 177.42 Delayed Quote.-23.77%
CADENCE DESIGN SYSTEMS, INC. 3.35% 165.45 Delayed Quote.21.27%
FAST RETAILING CO., LTD. -2.98% 73250 End-of-day quote.-20.79%
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY 0.00% 15.49 Delayed Quote.30.72%
KAWAMOTO CORPORATION 19.28% 928 End-of-day quote.-51.46%
SOFTBANK CORP. -0.13% 1531.5 End-of-day quote.18.45%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. -2.06% 6574 End-of-day quote.-18.42%
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
08:30aSONY : BTS drops Sony for Universal - WSJ
08:28aCHINA EVERGRANDE : Dollar edges lower on Evergrande news; Aussie, kiwi shines
08:26aTED ROGERS : Ousted Rogers Communications chairman strikes back with plans to rejig board
08:23aSchlumberger quarterly profit rises as oilfield services demand recovers
08:23aIndia's Paytm gets regulator approval for IPO -source
08:12aEuropean industry calls for EU/China talks on magnesium shortages
08:04aVans sneaker maker VF sales stumble on supply hurdles
08:02aJapan aims for 36-38% of energy to come from renewables by 2030
07:53aNew global rules leave just 10 big EU banks short of capital, draft shows
07:49aFormer Deutsche Bank whistleblower awarded $200m record payout, sources say
Latest news "Economy & Forex"