Masayoshi Son is a Japanese businessman and the founder and current chief executive officer of SoftBank, the chief executive officer of SoftBank Mobile, and current chairman of Sprint Corporation. According to Forbes magazine, his net worth is $8.1 billion as of 2011 and he is the second richest man in Japan, despite having the distinction of losing the most money in history (approximately $70 billion during the dot com crash of 2000). Forbes also describes him as a philanthropist.
Although SoftBank’s stake in Yahoo! had dwindled to 7%, Son established Yahoo! BroadBand in September 2001 with Yahoo! Japan in which he still owned a controlling interest. After a severe devaluation of SoftBank’s equity, Son was forced to focus his attention on Yahoo! BB and BB Phone. Using ADSL technology that could reach speeds upwards of 10 Mbit/s (new service can reach about 100 Mbit/s), Yahoo! BB currently reaches 4.3 million subscribers each paying about $20–$30 a month, but continues to lose about $100 million a month. So far, SoftBank has accumulated about $1.3 billion in debt. Yet, Yahoo! BB acquired Japan Telecom, the then third largest broadband and landline provider with 600,000 residential and 170,000 commercial subscribers. Yahoo! BB is now Japan’s leading broadband provider.