SoftBank President Nikesh Arora said he will step down just 13 months after CEO Masayoshi Son essentially designated him as Son's successor.
Arora left Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) in July 2014 after more than a decade with the search giant, and a few months later he became CEO of SoftBank Internet & Media. Son promoted him to the role of president of the Japanese corporation in May 2015, and earlier this year the company separated its domestic wireless from other operations, leaving Arora in charge of its majority stake in Sprint (NYSE:S) and other overseas businesses.
But SoftBank has struggled over the last year as Sprint has weighed down shares of the parent company. Sprint reported a net loss of $554 million during the first quarter of 2016, more than doubling the $224 million loss it recorded during the same period in 2015.
SoftBank said recently it will sell at least $7.9 billion of its stake in Alibaba to shore up its finances, and this week the company announced an agreement to sell its stake in Supercell in a deal that values the Finnish game developer north of $10 billion.
Son said he will remain as CEO longer than he had planned; Arora will move on but continue to serve as an advisor to SoftBank.
Arora has been criticized for spending nearly $4 billion investing in a range of startups around the world to generate long-term revenues for SoftBank. He also took flak for his pay: Arora pocketed $135 million in 2014 and $73 million last year.
Arora took to Twitter after the news broke, communicating with well-wishers and answering questions about his tenure at SoftBank through dozens of tweets.
"Always do things with all my energy & passion so yes, hence not a clean break," Arora tweeted when asked if he was leaving with "a heavy heart." "Want to support and nurture."
- read this Wall Street Journal report
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