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SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son will not speak at the Future Investment Initiative event in Riyadh, which kicked off earlier today, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Nearly half of SoftBank's $100 billion Vision Fund comes from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, and expectations are the same would be true for a second Vision Fund.

  • Masa's decision comes after more than a week of SoftBank "monitoring" the situation, while most other big business leaders pulled out much earlier over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
  • SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure and the CEO of British chipmaker Arm, owned by SoftBank, also both bailed yesterday.

But, but, but: Still no official statement nor confirmation from SoftBank, and that same WSJ story cites an event spokesman as saying that Masa "may still attend the Future Investment Initiative on the sidelines." Plus, Vision Fund's Saleh Romeih did speak on stage today as part of a panel discussion.

The bottom line: Masa and SoftBank have developed a reputation for being bold. In this case, they've been timid.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

40 mins ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

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