Softbank President Nikesh Arora Resigns

Nikesh Arora resigns
Daniel Lynch/REX/Shutterstock

TOKYO — Softbank president Nikesh Arora announced his resignation on Tuesday. Once anointed as the successor to founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, Aurora explained on Twitter that Son, 58, had decided to stay on longer than planned as CEO and added that it’s “time to move on.”

Son confirmed his change of heart in a statement, saying this his work as CEO “is not done” and that he would remain in the post for another five or 10 years.

Arora was scheduled to be officially named to the Softbank board at the general shareholders meeting on Wednesday. He has said that he will remain with the company as an advisor and has reportedly agreed to sell 9.52 million Softbank shares to Son.

A former executive at Google, Aurora was brought aboard by Son nearly two years ago to oversee an aggressive program of acquisitions, focusing on digital commerce start-ups and entertainment/media companies. Son later tapped Aurora as his successor.

Investors, however, have been complaining about Aurora’s high compensation — he took home $135 million in 2014 — and the lack of profits from his buying spree.

In an effort to reduce its $80 billion in debt, Softbank unloaded $10 billion in shares this month in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and announced today the sale of its entire stake in Finnish game developer Supercell to Chinese digital media colossus Tencent for $7.8 billion.

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