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Nikesh Arora’s pay packet at SoftBank almost halved last year, but at $73 mn quite a sum

26 May, 2016

Japanese internet conglomerate SoftBank paid its president and COO Nikesh Arora $73 million (Rs 490 crore or 8.04 billion yen) in the financial year ended March 2016, Bloomberg reported.

His remuneration in the previous financial year was $135 million, including a joining bonus.

Though Arora’s pay package decreased in the last financial year, he is still one of the highest-paid corporate executives in the world.

Arora—who led SoftBank’s investments in India, including e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, cab aggregator Ola, realty portal Housing and hotel booking site Oyo—last year bought SoftBank shares worth $484 million as an expression of confidence in the future of the Japanese firm.

Arora’s compensation includes 1.56 billion yen paid by other SoftBank units, according to a proxy issued by the mobile and internet company on Thursday, said the Bloomberg report.

Arora’s compensation assumes significance as a section of unknown investors represented by a New York law firm recently called for an internal investigation against him for conflicts of interests and poor judgment in making investments. The investors also raised concerns about his remuneration.

However, SoftBank has strongly defended Arora. Its chairman Masayoshi Son then said he “has complete trust and 1,000 per cent confidence” in Arora.

Son had earlier said that Arora is the most likely candidate to succeed him as chairman of SoftBank. Arora is now the de facto No.2 in the group.

His Rs 490 crore remuneration package puts him way above the highest paid corporate executives in India. For a comparison, a VCCircle analysis last year showed that vice chairman of Bharti Enterprises Akhil Gupta was the highest paid executive with a Rs 96 crore remuneration in 2015.

Arora is not the only Indian corporate honcho to be paid $100 million or above. Google CEO Sunder Pichai, with whom Arora had worked at the technology bellwether, was paid $100.05 million in 2015. In February, Pitchai was awarded stock options worth $199 million, said another  Bloomberg report.

Former chief business officer of Google, Arora joined SoftBank in September 2014 as vice chairman of the group and CEO of its subsidiary SoftBank Internet & Media Inc (SIMI).

He was appointed as president and COO a year ago. 

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

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Nikesh Arora’s pay packet at SoftBank almost halved last year, but at $73 mn quite a sum

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