Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son, Japanese billionaire and founder of SoftBank, currently serves as the chairman of the Sprint Corporation and CEO of both SoftBank and SoftBank Mobile. According to Forbes magazine, his net worth is $22.3 billion as of 2014 and “he is the richest man in Japan”. Son has been making entrepreneurial moves since his high school years. For example, as a teenager, he managed to schedule a meeting with the Japanese McDonald’s president who allegedly advised him to begin studying English and computer science.

He moved to California in the middle of his high school education where he lived with family outside of San Francisco. He graduated from the University of California Berkeley in 1980 with degrees in economics and computer science. While in college, Son set his sights on creating companies centered on microchips and computer technology by committing to generating at least one entrepreneurial idea a day. Son’s first post-college moves toward becoming a billionaire include selling a translating device to Sharp Electronics for $1 million and starting a company called Unison in Oakland, California which was eventually bought by Kyocera.

Son is known for losing one of the largest sums in history: over $70 billion during the dot com crash in 2000. Since then, he has distinguished himself for his development of SoftBank and work as a philanthropist. In 2011 Masayoshi Son pledged to donate 10 billion yen ($120 million) and his remaining salary until retirement to help support victims of 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.