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This Tech CEO Says He’s Ready to Take on Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Apple

SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son
SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son Photograph by Getty Images

It wasn’t quite John Lennon’s comment that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” but SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son seems pretty confident that his company will soon have the same size and importance as several religion-sized tech firms.

In an interview published Tuesday in The Times (London), the 58-year-old Son said that the huge investments SoftBank will make in the British chip design giant ARM Holdings (ARMHF)—which he agreed to purchase for $32 billion last week—would allow it to compete with the likes of Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL), Apple (AAPL), and Amazon (AMZN).

According to Son, ARM’s chip designs, which already power more than 95% of the smartphones out there, will allow it to become one of the planet’s biggest tech companies as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) explodes over the next several years. SoftBank has said that it plans to at least double ARM’s U.K. headcount over the next five years.

While Son did not give a timeline as to when ARM would be fighting with tech’s biggest-of-the-big, he showed no doubt that it could.

“I’ve helped Alibaba [get] to that kind of scale,” he told The Times. “I have a feeling that ARM has a right to be that kind of scale.”


Son also addressed Brexit and suggestions that he’d bought ARM when he did because the drop in the value of the pound had made it cheaper.

“I did not calculate the political change,” he told The Times. “I’m looking at the technological shift. I was looking at Arm for ten years. For me, the more important factor was, ‘when do I have enough cash?’”

While the pound lost value after the Brexit vote, he noted, ARM’s stock price rose, removing any currency advantage.

And, he added, he did not worry too much about the long-term future of Britain. “I’m still committed to the success of the U.K. and the belief of the strong intelligence and passion and determination of the British people,” he said. “I’m a strong believer of their long-term historical success.”

Fortune has reached out to SoftBank for additional comment and will update the story with a reply.