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How Yahoo Japan cured its 'big-company disease'

The rebel who saw the promise of mobile and didn't want to waste it

TAKASHI SUGIMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- The younger brother, by 15 years, of SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son was recalling the first time he met Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo Inc. of the U.S. The encounter came in 1996, and "the event changed my life completely," Taizo Son said.

Taizo entered the University of Tokyo after twice failing his entrance exam. Not yet knowing his calling, he kept busy playing music with a student band. At the end of his junior year, when he was preparing himself for corporate Japan's hiring season, he heard of his brother's plan to bring Yahoo to Japan in partnership with Yang.

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