SoftBank picks insider to replace Nikesh Arora
Ken Miyauchi

SoftBank Group Corp has elevated Ken Miyauchi, who is head of the group's Japanese telecommunications operations, as president and chief operating officer to replace Nikesh Arora who has resigned, it said in a statement.

Miyauchi joined SoftBank Group in 1984 and has served in various leadership roles at the firm since then. In his most recent role, he was serving as representative director, president and COO of SoftBank. Miyauchi held 1,101,230 shares of SBG as of March 31, 2016, according to the statement.

Last year, Arora had replaced Miyauchi at the company’s board. Now with Arora’s departure, Miyauchi is returning to the board.

Arora, the former Google executive handpicked by SoftBank founder and CEO Masayoshi Son as his successor, has quit as president and CEO in a sudden end to the India-born executive’s tenure at the Japanese telecom and internet conglomerate.

Arora will remain in an advisory role at SoftBank for a year.

The development comes a day after SoftBank gave Arora, who was tipped to be the successor to Son, a clean chit on allegations raised by a group of unknown investors represented by a New York law firm after a panel of its independent directors reviewed those complaints.

Arora, former chief business officer at Google, joined SoftBank in September 2014 as vice chairman of the group and CEO of its subsidiary SoftBank Internet & Media Inc. He was named president and COO a year ago. Son subsequently named Arora his likely successor.

Arora led SoftBank’s venture investments in India, the US and other countries as the Japanese group backed more startups in search for the next Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the Chinese e-commerce giant in which it is the largest shareholder. He also led SoftBank’s recent multi-billion dollar stake sales in Alibaba and Finnish game developer Supercell.

In India, Arora led SoftBank’s investments in e-commerce marketplace Snapdeal, cab aggregator Ola, realty portal Housing.com and hotel booking site Oyo. He said on Tuesday he plans to continue supporting Indian startups.

Arora was one of the highest paid corporate executives in the world when he joined SoftBank on a pay package of $135 million. He also made a personal bet on SoftBank in August last year when he decided to invest JPY 60 billion ($482 million then) to buy shares of the company.

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