SoftBank Group Corp, the Japan-based multinational conglomerate headquartered in Tokyo, has reportedly introduced a new WeWork-designed headquarters in Tokyo despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic forcing its employees to work remotely.
SoftBank Corp will be the biggest tenant for Tokyo Portcity Takeshiba office tower. Chief Executive Ken Miyauchi said that the additional space in the new office can be assigned to other group companies. Some of these companies are presently renting space around Tokyo from office-sharing company WeWork.
In last year, Softbank acquired over 80 percent stake in the WeWork. Marcelo Claure who is the former CEO at Sprint — which SoftBank bought in 2012 — joined as executive chairman at WeWork.
It is the U.S-based real estate company that provides shared workspaces for technology firms and services for other enterprises. Established in 2010, the firm is headquartered in New York City. As of 2019, the company managed more than four million square meters of space.
Sources cite that a new space employs innovative technologies that support social distancing like real-time data on overcrowding at restaurants and autonomous robots for making deliveries and cleaning floors. It also has features like communal lounges, hot desking, and internal staircases since the ongoing pandemic has raised infection concerns.
The move comes as Masayoshi Son, Chief Executive of the Group, is loosening relations with the wireless carrier, with the firm’s stake in SoftBank Corp set to decrease as low as 40%.
The sell-down of these core assets is funding the company’s bets on listed tech stocks, which have driven concern among investors about its opaque investing decisions and sent its share price dropping this week.
On Wednesday, SoftBank’s shares were down 5 percent in afternoon trade, extending the week's slump that has reduced $15 billion from its market capitalization.