The Representative Director, President and CEO of SBI Holdings, Inc. Yoshitaka Kitao will be joining Ripple’s Board of Directors. Having served as the head of dozens of companies throughout his career, Mr. Kitao brings to the board extensive leadership experience and knowledge of global financial markets.
“Blockchain and digital assets are changing the way we move money around the world, and Ripple is the driving force behind this positive change. I am excited by this opportunity to lend my expertise and be part of the company’s next phase of growth,” said Mr. Kitao.
Yoshitaka Kitao established SBI Holdings in July 1999. Today, he’s transformed the company into one of Japan’s most prominent financial services groups and the most influential adopter of blockchain and digital asset innovation in the region.
Mr. Kitao is also a pivotal player in the joint venture between SBI Holdings and Ripple, SBI Ripple Asia. The joint venture established a next-generation payments platform on RippleNet, Ripple’s robust network of 200+ financial institutions worldwide, along with Japanese banks. In particular, the company provides the revolutionary MoneyTap mobile app that allows banks’ customers to settle transactions instantly, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I am excited to welcome Mr. Kitao to our Board of Directors. From conventional financial markets to digital asset markets, his deep understanding of the financial services industry will offer valuable business and financial expertise to help Ripple continue to scale,” said Chris Larsen, Executive Chairman of the board. “Approximately half of our customers are located in Asia-Pac today, and we’re rapidly expanding our global footprint across the region. Mr. Kitao comes at a perfect time for Ripple as we look to deepen our customer base in Asia and beyond.”
Prior to SBI Holdings, Mr. Kitao served as Executive Vice President and CFO of the Softbank Corp. where he handled gigantic financing for the company to engage in aggressive investments. He began his career in the investment banking business at Nomura Securities Co., Ltd, a prominent Japanese financial holding company, holds degrees in economics from Keio University and University of Cambridge.
Yoshitaka Kitao is officially replacing Takashi Okita on Ripple’s board on April 25, 2019.