SoftBank chief Son commits to long haul - Mobile World Live

SoftBank chief Son commits to long haul

21 JUN 2017

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son (pictured) pledged to stay at the helm of the company for years to come, as the Japan-based company elected Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure and ARM chief Simon Segers to its board of directors.

Speaking at the company’s annual general meeting, Son said he “couldn’t possibly retire” anytime soon, as he revealed his desire to lead the company to the forefront of emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and IoT.

In the past year, SoftBank launched its vision fund, raising $93 billion so far to develop new technologies. The company also made a number of acquisitions, including UK-based chipmaker ARM and, most recently, robotics start-up Boston Dynamics from Google earlier this month. SoftBank also owns a majority stake in US operator Sprint.

Son said he had no successor in mind to take over the company, and finding one would be another challenge he would address over the next ten years.

Former Google executive Nikesh Arora had been earmarked as a potential successor to Son, but he stepped down from his role as COO in 2016.

In comments cited by the Nikkei Asian Review, Son also highlighted the acquisition of ARM as being “key” to the company’s future strategy.

“If, one day, I look back upon my life and have to come up with one company I acquired that became key, I think it will be ARM.”

Board members
In separate statements, both ARM and Sprint confirmed Segars and Claure respectively had been formally elected as board of directors at SoftBank.

Claure said it was an honour to join Son “and SoftBank’s other board members at this incredibly exciting time for the company”.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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