Rakuten Symphony lost the CEO of its North American unit, Azita Arvani (pictured), just over a month after the head of the software platform Tareq Amin departed, replaced by Rakuten Mobile chairman Mickey Mikitani.
In a LinkedIn post, Arvani, who joined Rakuten Group in early 2020 as general manager for Americas, stated: “I have made the difficult decision to part ways with Rakuten. My journey with Rakuten has been a significant and transformative one.”
As the first mobile operator to build an end-to-end virtualised telecom infrastructure, she added the company achieved “remarkable milestones” and cultivated relationships with customers such as AT&T, Dish Networks, Telus and others.
Rakuten didn’t respond to a query from Mobile World Live.
The Rakuten Group launched Rakuten Symphony in August 2021 as a new business unit to drive adoption of cloud-native open RAN infrastructure and services outside of Japan.
The software unit’s sales dropped 18.5 per cent to $72 million in Q2, with Mikitani noting the quarterly figures tend to be uneven.
The unit’s high-level departures come as subscriber growth stalled at the group’s Japanese mobile division at around 5 million over the past two years and a price war continues to weigh on margins across the industry.
Rakuten Mobile was forced to cut capex in May, as its target for breaking even, previously forecast in 2023, was pushed forwards.
The operator faced an uphill battle since the beginning: competing against three operators with at least ten-times more mobile customers and a government mandate just six months after its launch pressuring operators to make mobile service more affordable in Japan.