Heir apparent Arora steps down from SoftBank - Mobile World Live

Heir apparent Arora steps down from SoftBank

21 JUN 2016

Masayoshi Son, chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group, is staying on for another five to ten years, and Nikesh Arora is not hanging around to inherit the top spot.

Arora, president and COO, will not be reappointed at Wednesday’s shareholder general meeting, and will assume an unspecified advisory role from 1 July.  He is being replaced by Ken Miyauchi, head of the group’s Japanese telecoms operations.

A statement quoted Son, in typically forthright mode, explaining he had hoped to handover to Arora on his 60th birthday (he is 59), but decided he still had work to do.

Arora, 400x600“I want to cement SoftBank 2.0, develop Sprint to its true potential and work on a few more crazy ideas. This will require me to be CEO for at least another five to ten years – this is not a time frame for me to keep Nikesh [pictured, left] waiting for the top job,” said Son.

“Nikesh and I have decided that he would move to an advisory role and continue to support SoftBank, while he zeroes in on his next challenge,” he added.

Arora has been with SoftBank less than two years (he joined in September 2014), having been lured from Google.

The change in mind from Son is interesting give he once famously laid out a corporate vision stretching 300 years into the future .

Certainly some goals are proving harder to achieve than Son must have imagined, most notably the turnaround of struggling US operator Sprint.

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Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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