ASPEN, Colo.--Softbank made a big bet when it bought 80 percent of Sprint (NYSE: S) for $20.1 billion in 2013 and a top executive at the Japanese operator said today that the company is poised to make a turnaround, led by CEO Marcelo Claure.
But Softbank President Nikesh Arora wouldn't provide many more details about how exactly Claure will do that--instead he pointed to Claure who was sitting in the audience here at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech event. "Marcelo Claure is here and he will make sure things happen," Arora said.
Arora, however, did note that Sprint could be one of the biggest telecom turnarounds, similar to how Japanese operator Softbank became a leader in Asia once Masayoshi Son took its helm. "He [Son] turned around Softbank," Arora said. "Now it's one of the best networks in world with the best EBITDA margin. Son wanted to bring that investment to the U.S.," he added.
Arora, who was named president of Softbank just a couple of months ago, was formerly Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) chief business officer and is believed to be Son's successor at the helm of SoftBank. When Son named Arora president, he said SoftBank, will be a global company and will continue to invest in mergers and acquisitions beyond the Sprint deal.
Arora also touted the company's recent $1 billion investment in Coupang, a Korean company. He also hinted that SoftBank would not be opposed to making a major purchase in Silicon Valley, including buying Twitter. "If the value is right," Arora said when asked if SoftBank would consider acquiring Twitter. But when asked if he thought Twitter had potential, he added: "I don't think about it much."
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