SoftBank Group Corp President and Chief Operating Officer Nikesh Arora will resign from his post, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said Arora, his protegé, would not be reappointed to the position at Wednesday’s shareholder general meeting. He will, however, continue to be an adviser to the Tokyo-based firm.
SoftBank said differences between Arora and Son over when the former should take over the leadership of SoftBank led to Arora's departure. "Masayoshi Son had been considering Arora as a strong candidate for succession. Son's intention was to keep leading the Group in various aspects for the time being, while Arora wished to start taking over the lead in a few years' time. The difference of expected timelines between the two leads to Arora's resignation," SoftBank said in a statement.
Arora has reportedly been under fire from a group of investors. They had in April called on the board of directors to investigate his track record and qualifications. On Monday, a special committee of independent members of its board of directors gave Arora a clean chit after reviewing allegations regarding his conduct.
The former Google Inc. executive, who was appointed by Son two years ago, said, “This will allow me to think about my next move.”
Ever since Arora joined SoftBank, he has invested nearly $4 billion in startups around the world to look for a technology company that is capable of driving future growth. SoftBank was founded as a software distributor in 1981 by Son. After it acquired Vodafone Group PLC’s Japanese operations in 2006, it became Japan’s third-largest mobile-phone service provider.