Nikesh Arora to resign from SoftBank, will continue as advisor for a year


Just a day after SoftBank Group announced that its internal probe had cleared President and COO Nikesh Arora of purported shareholder claims, the Japanese firm announced on Tuesday that Nikesh would be resigning from the position of Representative Director and Director of SBG with effect from 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, after the company's 36th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.

Reason for resignation

Nikesh assumed the position of Vice Chairman of SBG and CEO of SB Group US Inc. in September 2014, and has been deeply involved in the establishment and execution of the growth strategy of the Group. He then assumed the position of Representative Director and Director of SBG in June 2015. During his tenure he made hard bets on the Indian startup ecosystem, on behalf of SoftBank.

Related read from February 2016: SoftBank’s hard bets in a hopeful India

The release also stated that Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SBG, had been considering Nikesh as a strong candidate for succession. His intention, however, was to keep leading the Group in various aspects for the time being, while Nikesh wished to start taking over the lead in a few years’ time.

The release states that the difference of expected timelines between the two led to Nikesh’s resignation from the position of Representative Director and Director of SBG.

What next?

Nikesh confirmed on Twitter that he would continue to support SoftBank for a year as an advisor and also support the startups he has invested in.

As expected, Twitter went crazy with the news and speculations around the resignation. While some questioned the timing, others seemed to look ahead and joked that Nikesh was right in time to fill Raghuram Rajan's shoes, and become the next RBI Governor.

Nikesh, however, said that he really hadn't thought things through, but held integrity in high regard and was not in a hurry to move onto other roles.


Updates from around the world