Nikesh Arora was appointed as President and COO of Japan’s SoftBank, May 11, and may become the next CEO, as the telecom major expands its presence in overseas market including India. Arora will assume his new role on June 19. A PTI report.
Speaking at the company’s earnings conference, CEO Masayoshi Son said the former Google executive is a “strong candidate” to lead the company in future, “He’s 10 years younger than me, and he has more abilities than me,” he said.
“The last nine months I’ve spent with him have made me sure of that… Nikesh and I will lead SoftBank in its second stage,” he said.
Son added that Arora’s experience and insight on the global Internet business model will help SoftBank grow further.
Arora joins the ranks of Pepsico’s Indra Nooyi, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Mastercard’s Ajay Banga and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, the Indian-origin business leaders heading global giants.
“Nikesh used to be No. 2 at Google. So, he is well-versed with the best technology and business model of internet companies and has great connections. With his experience and insights, he would serve as a great partner. Together, we could lead Softbank to further growth,” he said.
“…Nikesh is a strong candidate for successor. For the first time since our listing, he is the only person as president other than me. I gave that post to him that means that I want of course I don’t want to retire yet,” Son said.
On his own role, Son said he will be chairman and CEO, relinquishing the president’s post.
Speaking further on Arora being his successor, “I am still young so of course I will lead the management as I did for the past years, but timing of succession of throne I can’t tell you today officially. But unless Nikesh is hit by a car or anything happens to him, he may in the future he will be the primary candidate of my successor,” Son added.
Softbank had roped in Arora as the vice chairman of SoftBank Corp and CEO of SB Group U.S., Inc. (former SoftBank Internet and Media) in September last year from Google.
SoftBank has made a slew of investments in the last few years, including $250 million in Hollywood movie studio Legendary Entertainment as well as Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
It has also announced plans of investing $10 billion in India’s nascent online retail market.
“We expect more investments and acquisitions, even more so than now… Going forward, the overseas market will be the main factor for SoftBank,” Son said.
For the fiscal 2014-15, SoftBank saw its net sales growing 30 percent to 8.7 trillion yen, while net income grew 29 percent year-on-year to 668.4 billion yen.