SoftBank’s Indian executive Arora will be advisor from July 1

Tokyo, June 21 (IANS) Global technology major SoftBank Group (SBG) on Tuesday announced that its representative Director, President and COO Nikesh Arora would be an advisor from July 1.

“Nikesh and I have decided that he would move to an advisory role and continue to support SBG, while he zeroes in on his next challenge. He will continue to be friend of SBG, and I will have my hand on his shoulder,” SBG Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said in a statement here.

Lauding Arora for bringing world class execution skills to the Group, as evident from its investments over the last year, complex monetisation of its stake in Alibaba (China’s e-tail behemoth) and selling its equity stake in Finnish game developer Supercell for $7.3 billion, Son said he was indebted to him for his contributions.

“Nikesh is a unique leader with unparalleled skills around strategy and execution. He should be the CEO of a global business. I had hoped to hand over the reins of SBG to him on my 60th birthday, but I feel my work is not done.

“I want to cement SBG 2.0, develop Sprint to its true potential and work on a few more crazy ideas, which will require me to be CEO for another five to ten years, not a time frame for me to keep him waiting for the top job,” he said.

SoftBank acquired the US-based telecom major Sprint Corporation in July 2013.

Commenting on development, Arora said helping “Masa” (Son) began the transformation of SBG and sowing the early seeds had been a great experience.

“I have enjoyed working with Masa and the SBG team and I look forward to my next challenge. In the meantime, I will continue to support the Group and our investee companies,” he said in the statement.

Arora joined SBG in September 2014 from global search engine major Google, where he was the Chief Business Officer.

During his tenure, the Group invested in a set of ground-breaking growth stage companies in India like Snapdeal, Ola, Oyo, Grofers, Housing and extended its footprint in Asia with the mobile e-commerce firm Coupang in Korea and the ride-share player Grab in Southeast Asia.

“Nikesh and I have been partners in creating SoftBank 2.0. He has been able to help think through our vision, future growth plans and articulate our strategy,” Son added.

The development came a day after SBG said a special committee found allegations against Arora in a purported shareholder demand were “without merit”.

“A special committee of independent members of SBG’s Board of Directors has completed its review of allegations against Nikesh Arora in a purported shareholder demand. The committee has concluded that the claims concerning the conduct of Arora during his tenure at SBG are without merit,” the company said in a statement on Monday.

SBG said allegations had been raised in a number of letters from a law firm which claimed to represent the interests of certain unidentified SBG and Sprint Corporation shareholders.

“As I said when these allegations first became public, I have complete trust in Nikesh and I am pleased the special committee has looked into these claims thoroughly and concluded they are without merit,” said Son.

As a holding company, SBG provides advanced telecommunications, media and internet services, robotics and clean energy technology.

–IANS

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