Nikesh Arora to lead SoftBank’s global business after operational rejig

By Anuradha Verma

  • 08 Mar 2016

Nikesh Arora, president and chief operating officer at SoftBank Group Corp, will lead the Japanese telecom and internet conglomerate's international businesses as CEO after a planned organisational rejig that would split the group's domestic and overseas operations.

India-born Arora, who joined SoftBank in 2014 after leaving Google Inc, will continue in his role as COO at SoftBank, according to a statement by the Japanese company.

Arora, considered as heir apparent to SoftBank chairman Masayoshi Son, was elevated as president and COO at SoftBank in May last year. The latest move bolsters his position and allows him greater flexibility to make bigger bets for expanding the company’s overseas business, which is much larger than its local operations.


SoftBank’s international business includes investments in US telecom firm Sprint Corp, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Indian companies such as online marketplace Snapdeal, cab-hailing firm Ola, real estate portal Housing.com and hotels aggregator Oyo. In January, Son said SoftBank had invested around $2 billion in Indian firms and that it was planning to accelerate its investments in India.

As part of the restructuring process, SoftBank will transfer the stake it holds to the respective operations management companies in phases starting this month with a planned shareholder approval in June this year.

Domestic subsidiaries such as SoftBank Corp. and Yahoo Japan Corporation will be transferred to the domestic operations management company to be led by Ken Miyauchi. SoftBank’s stake in companies such as Sprint and Alibaba will be transferred to the global operations management company led by Arora. SoftBank chairman Son will remain in charge of the group’s overall operations.


The proposed restructuring is subject to approval of shareholders and all related parties including regulatory agencies, and compliance with relevant laws and regulations. SoftBank expects to complete the transfers by December 31, 2016.

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