SoftBank names new executive replacing Nikesh Arora

Global technology major SoftBank Group Corporation on Wednesday said Ken Miyauchi would be the new representative director, president and chief operation officer a day after India-born Nikesh Arora resigned from the executive posts to become its advisor from July 1.

“Ken Miyauchi has been elected as representative director, president and chief operating officer in pursuit of enhancement of the management structure,” the Japanese holding firm said in a statement here.

Arora, 48, resigned from the SBG board after its 36th annual general meeting of shareholders on Tuesday.

Miyauchi Son will continue as chairman and chief executive of SBG.

Ken, 67, is also a SBG director, president and CEO of SoftBank Corporation, the group’s multinational, with operations in broadband, fixed-line telecom, e-commerce, internet, technology services, finance, media and marketing.

Arora joined SBG in September 2014 from global search engine major Google, where he was its chief business officer.

During Arora’s tenure, SBG invested in growth stage firms 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.

With Son, 60, deciding to continue as the group’s chief executive for another five-10 years, Arora’s prospects of replacing him soon dimmed.

“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,” Son said in a statement on Tuesday.

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

Son, however, lauded 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.

On his part, Arora said helping Masa (Masayoshi) begun 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,” Nikesh said. IANS