Nikesh Arora quits Google to join SoftBank

Google Inc's chief business officer and senior vice president Nikesh Arora is moving on to join Japan's telecom giant SoftBank Corp as vice chairman and CEO of the to-be-formed SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc. At Google, Arora will be replaced by Omid Kordestani, Google’s ‘business founder’ and head of its sales teams.

In his new role, he will report to SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son directly.

 “As vice chairman, Arora will work closely with me in defining, implementing and managing our global growth strategy. In addition, as CEO of SIMI he will be directly responsible for overseeing our internet, telecommunications, media and global investment activities, which we have been developing over the last few years,” said Masayoshi Son.

Started in 1981, SoftBank is a telecom and internet company with operations in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, internet, technology services, finance, media and marketing. Headquartered in Tokyo, SoftBank’s subsidiaries include SoftBank BB, IDC Frontier, GungHo Online Entertainment and SB Creative. In 2012, SoftBank had acquired 70 per cent of US-based telecom company Sprint Nextel Corporation for $20.1 billion. In 2011, SoftBank had invested $200 million in Bangalore-based mobile ad network InMobi.

Arora joined Google in 2004 and has held various management roles at the firm. He had served as president for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) operations. Previously, he was president for global sales operations and business development at the company.

Prior to that, he was senior advisor of value creation at Silver Lake Partners. Earlier, he had also served as chief marketing officer and a member of the management board of T-Mobile International AG & Co. In the past, he had also worked at Deutsche Telekom AG, Putnam Investments, Fidelity Investments, Colgate-Palmolive Co. Arora had also founded T-Motion Plc, a mobile multimedia subsidiary of T-Mobile International.

He had also served as a non-executive director of India telecom major Bharti Airtel from 2008 to 2014.

Arora holds a MS degree from Boston College and an MBA degree from Northeastern University in the US. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Varanasi.

Arora was also the key touch point for investors with Google’s top team and his exit marks another movement of an Indian origin executive from Google.

Early this year, Vic Gundotra, senior vice president (engineering) at Google and the creator of its social network Google Plus, announced his departure after spending almost eight years at the company.

Many Indian-origin executives have held or are holding key management positions at Google. The company now counts three execs of Indian origin out of the nine senior leaders including Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president for ads and commerce; and Sundar Pichai, senior VP for Android, Chrome and apps besides Amit Singhal, senior vice president for search & Google Fellow among the top team.

Q2 results

Google has also announced its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. The company reported consolidated revenues of $15.96 billion for the quarter, a 22 per cent increase over the same period last year.

Google reports advertising revenues, consistent with GAAP, on a gross basis without deducting traffic acquisition costs (TAC). In the second quarter of 2014, TAC totalled $3.29 billion or 23 per cent of advertising revenues.

Net loss from discontinued operations in the second quarter was $68 million, compared to net income of $454 million in the second quarter of 2013. Net loss from discontinued operations in Q2 included a pre-tax adjustment of $72 million related to the release of the deferral of certain revenue for the Motorola Mobile segment. On a GAAP basis, consolidated net income in Q2 was $3.42 billion compared with $3.23 billion in the second quarter of 2013.

“Google had a great quarter with revenue up 22 per cent year on year at $16 billion,” said Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google. “We are moving forward with great product momentum and are excited to continue providing amazing user experiences, with a view to the long term,” Pichette said.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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