SoftBank’s founder, Masayoshi Son, lures Microsoft, IBM to annual showcase

(Bloomberg) — SoftBank Group Corp. is changing the lineup for its annual corporate conference this year, adding top executives from companies like Microsoft Corp. and curtailing the number of leaders from its own portfolio companies.

SoftBank World, which usually takes place in July, was pushed back this year because of the coronavirus pandemic to late October. The chief executive officers of Microsoft, International Business Machines Corp., Adobe Inc. and Zoom Video Communications Inc. are scheduled to participate, according to a notice posted online.

Founder Masayoshi Son has used the forum in recent years to showcase founders from startups he has invested in. Among the 2019 speakers, for example, were Oyo’s Ritesh Agarwal, Grab’s Anthony Tan and Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma.

SoftBank’s startup investments have run into trouble in the past year, with writedowns at WeWork and Uber Technologies Inc. leading to a record loss in the last fiscal year. Son has more recently pivoted to asset management and stock options trading.

Read more: SoftBank’s Big Options Bet Tests Investor Faith in Masayoshi Son

SoftBank World will feature some of Son’s investments. Stewart Butterfield, CEO of Slack Technologies Inc., is scheduled to speak, along with the chiefs of Yahoo Japan and PayPay.