Japan’s SoftBank Group hired Gary Ginsberg, formerly Time Warner’s top marketing and communications exec and key lieutenant to Rupert Murdoch at News Corp, to head communications for the telecom and technology conglomerate.
Ginsberg will join SoftBank as SVP and global head of communications, effective Thursday, Nov. 1. He left Time Warner this past June along with several other senior execs after AT&T closed the acquisition of Time Warner, which has been redubbed WarnerMedia.
SoftBank’s hiring of the veteran of the media biz and the Clinton administration is perhaps a signal that the company plans to boost its global media ambitions.
Ginsberg will be based in SoftBank’s New York office and will report to Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank, and Marcelo Claure, EVP/COO of SoftBank and CEO of SoftBank Group International. In the role, Ginsberg will be responsible for leading SoftBank’s corporate communications strategy and initiatives, overseeing all of the company’s external and internal global communications functions.
SoftBank Group owns one of Japan’s biggest wireless carriers, SoftBank Corp. Its diversified holdings include minority stakes in Yahoo Japan and Sprint, which is the in process of merging with T-Mobile.
The conglomerate also runs the world’s biggest tech-investment fund, the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund, which holds stakes in companies including Uber, WeWork, DoorDash, Opendoor, Wag and Brandless. Major investors in the SoftBank Vision Fund include the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a business tie that has received scrutiny in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi while in Saudi custody.
“Mr. Ginsberg brings extensive communications experience, serving as a strategist in both the public and private sectors for more than 25 years,” Claure said in a statement. “He is a seasoned hand and one of the most experienced communications executives in the world who will be an asset to both SoftBank and our portfolio of global companies as we invest in the foundational technologies that will drive the information revolution.”
Ginsberg commented, “I have admired SoftBank’s evolution and growth for many years, and I’m thrilled to be joining them now at such a dynamic time when the company’s mission to invest in some of the world’s most critical and defining new technologies has never been more important.”
In his role at Time Warner, Ginsberg was responsible for managing the company’s marketing and communications initiatives. Prior to his role at Time Warner, he spent 11 years at News Corp, serving in several roles, including most recently as executive VP of global marketing and corporate affairs and a member of the Office of the Chairman.
Previously, Ginsberg served as a senior editor and counsel of George, the monthly political magazine founded by John F. Kennedy Jr. Before joining George, Ginsberg served in the Clinton administration at both the White House Counsel’s office and the U.S. Department of Justice. He began his career at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
Ginsberg is chairman of the board of New Visions for Public Schools; Director of The City, an online news service covering NYC; and Malaria NO More. He also is an adjunct professor at the Columbia Business School and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ginsberg holds an A.B. from Brown University and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.