Wooden cube with word

PITCHBOOK reports:

For years, SoftBank has been losing leaders.

Nikesh Arora, a former Google executive and heir apparent to SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, left in 2016 and went on to lead Palo Alto Networks. Shigenobu Nagamori, CEO of Nidec, stepped down from the board in 2017. Two years later, Tadashi Yanai, the founder of Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing, ceded his board position after an 18-year tenure.

But following the collapse of SoftBank-backed WeWork‘s IPO in late 2019, the pace of high-level departures accelerated and grew in scale.

For more than two years, this executive turnover has played out in a steady drumbeat of company announcements and headlines. Collectively, the exodus of top executives amounts to a significant erosion of the top talent surrounding Son—including some of the key architects behind the firm’s tech-focused Vision Fund unit and SoftBank’s freewheeling bets that have famously shaken up the global venture capital ecosystem in recent years.

A PitchBook analysis of the departures reveals that, since 2020, around half of the Vision Fund’s leaders and managing directors have left the firm. And during that period, SoftBank’s board lost 11 of 15 board directors, three of whom had been with the firm for more than a decade.

These departures come at a critical juncture for Son, known familiarly as Masa. As the value of his firm’s holdings declines, the CEO is offloading major assets like chipmaker Arm and Fortress Investment Group, reshaping SoftBank without the benefit of key advisers and investment professionals who helped guide the company through past ups and downs.

More here.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.