Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s chief business officer Nikesh Arora is leaving to become the vice chairman of Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) and chief executive of Softbank Internet and Media Inc. on exceptionally good terms with his employer of ten years. Even though he’s obligated to return an $8 million cash bonus if he leaves before April 2015, Google’s compensation committee voted to waive the clause and let him keep the full amount, reports Jillian D’Onfro for Business Insider. Arora will also be nominated to the Softbank board at the next shareholders meeting.
Arora to responsible for internet, telecom, and media strategy
“As we enter the next phase of our expansion I can’t think of a better person than Nikesh to help us chart that course. As Vice Chairman, he will work closely with me in defining, implementing and managing our global growth strategy,” said Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) CEO and founder Masayoshi Son. “As CEO of SIMI he will be directly responsible for overseeing our Internet, telecommunications, media and global investment activities, which we have been developing over the last few years.”
Arora, who has an MBA from Northeastern University, a master’s degree in Finance from Boston College, and is a CFA, started off as a telecom analyst at Putnam Investments before leaving to found a mobile data start-up in 2000. He joined Google in 2004 to run its European business operations where he held multiple executive positions before becoming chief business officer in 2011.
Arora joins Softbank ahead of probable T-Mobile acquisition
Bringing in such high level talent couldn’t come at a better time as Softbank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) , which already has a large majority stake in Sprint Corporation (NYSE:S), is nearing a deal that would let it buy 50% of T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE:TMUS) from Deutsche Telekom AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:DTEGY) (ETR:DTE), effectively merging the third and fourth largest US telecoms. The US Department of Justice and FCC would still have to approve the deal after Softbank and Deutsche Telecom settle on terms.
Son specifically cited Arora’s strong financial background, his experience with a rapidly growing company, and deep knowledge of the telecom industry as reasons for bringing him on board so the prospect of needing to manage such a large merger must have been a key factor in recruiting him away from Google.