SoftBank names Nikesh Arora as successor to CEO Masayoshi Son

SoftBank on Monday announced that former Google executive Nikesh Arora will be the potential successor to CEO Masayoshi Son.

Nikesh Arora joined SoftBank Group, which is making significant investments in Indian e-commerce start-ups, in July last year. He will be the president of SoftBank from July 19. Nikesh Arora was a potential CEO candidate at Internet search engine major Google as well.

However, Son will not be giving up his present responsibilities. “The last nine months I’ve spent with him have made me sure of that, but I’m not going to retire soon,” Son said.

Recently, Microsoft named Satya Nadella as the CEO. Enterprise networking giant Cisco, though considered several Indians for the top post, did not pick up any Indians to succeed John Chambers.

One of the main tasks of Nikesh Arora will be to revive American wireless major Sprint. Reuters reported that Son and SoftBank are battling to make their 2013 acquisition of U.S. carrier Sprint for more than $20 billion profitable.

Masayoshi Son and Nikesh Arora
Billionaire Son will be relinquishing the president’s post. He said the former Google executive was a strong candidate to lead the company in future, Reuters reported.

“He’s 10 years younger than me, and he has more abilities than me,” Son told reporters, when asked if Arora was a potential candidate to succeed him.

SoftBank has hired Arora in July last year to run a newly created unit called SoftBank Internet and Media. He became one of the most powerful Google executives, and the highest paid in 2012, when he made $51 million in cash and stock.

SoftBank has made investments in recent years, including $250 million in privately-held Hollywood movie studio Legendary Entertainment, and $600 million in Travice, the operator of Chinese taxi hailing app Kuaidi Dache.

It’s the largest investor in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding. SoftBank has plans to invest $10 billion in Indian online retail market. The company says it does not want to exit from Alibaba.

Meanwhile, SoftBank posted 9 percent drop in operating profit for the year ended March to $8.2 billion.

Image source: REUTERS/Issei Kato

Baburajan K
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