Softbank chief bails out of Ariba

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Softbank chief executive Masayoshi Son has resigned from the board of troubled applications software firm Ariba in order to concentrate on trying to get his own company back in the black.

Son turned the Softbank computer publishing and trade show group into one of the world's most prolific internet investors, with investments in more than 600 internet concerns. He is trying to secure a role for Softbank in Japan's high-speed internet market.

His decision follows Softbank's announcement that it was selling a 3 per cent stake in Yahoo! to SBC Communications, the US telecommunications carrier, for $300m. Softbank also sold stakes in E*Trade for Y18.1bn and online news content provider Cnet Networks for Y6.2bn. Softbank posted a first-half loss of Y54.3bn because of losses on its technology portfolio.

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