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SoftBank’s Investors Requests Board to Investigate and Dismiss Nikesh Arora

The letter also says that if the boards of SoftBank and Sprint do not announce an investigation within 60 days the investors intend to pursue other remedies, including potential legal action and giving information to government regulators.

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Photo Credit : Nikesh Arora, SoftBank Corp's VC,

SoftBank’s investors has requested the board to investigate and possibly dismiss Nikesh Arora. The request came in a letter to SoftBank’s board from the American law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner and was signed by Matthew Schwartz, a partner at the elite New York firm, without identifying the shareholders or how much stock they own. 


In a 11-page letter, the group questioned his track record and qualifications as president and heir to billionaire founder Masayoshi Son. The letter has not been made public and SoftBank said, “the Board takes its duties seriously and is in the process of reviewing the letter". 

The complaint  questions whether the executive has conflicts of interest due to his existing role as a senior adviser to the private equity firm Silver Lake. It also suggests he may have been involved in past wrongdoing and generally poor business decisions. In an another separate letter from one investor to the board of Sprint Corp., which SoftBank controls, asks for his removal as a director there for similar reasons. 

The letter also says that if the boards of SoftBank and Sprint do not announce an investigation within 60 days the investors intend to pursue other remedies, including potential legal action and giving information to government regulators. The 60-day period ended last month. 

However, the Tokyo-based company has denied the allegations calling the letter “unsubstantiated allegations” from “unidentified shareholders.” Commenting about the allegations, Nikesh Arora said, “I think my track record speaks for itself. Since my time at SoftBank, the last 18 months, I always strived to put the company first and I think none of the comments have any substantive bearing in fact.” He also said he may end the advisory role at Silver Lake when his current contract expires. 

Nikesh joined SoftBank in 2014 and was promoted to president about a year later. Masayoshi Son said, “I have complete trust in Nikesh and one thousand percent confidence in him and know he will continue to do great things for SoftBank in the future.”



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