SoftBank sets up panel to investigate smear campaign against Nikesh Arora, Alok Sama

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Published: March 27, 2018 3:41:25 PM

Reports suggest that SoftBank is probing what could be a shareholder-led smear campaign against two of its executives -- Nikesh Arora (one-time heir apparent to SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son) and Alok Sama (now the company's chief strategy officer).

SoftBank sets up panel to investigate smear campaign against Nikesh Arora, Alok SamaPresident and COO of Softbank Corp Nikesh Arora

SoftBank, a prominent investor in many Indian startups including Flipkart and Ola, has set up a special committee to probe into a smear campaign against the Group and its high-profile former executive, Nikesh Arora.

The committee is investigating “the sources of unsubstantiated attacks on SoftBank and its executives”, a SoftBank spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“A special committee of the SoftBank Group Board of Directors is investigating these matters. The special committee has reached no conclusions in its investigation and does not intend to comment further until the completion of its investigation,” she added.

Reports suggest that SoftBank is probing what could be a shareholder-led smear campaign against two of its executives — Nikesh Arora (one-time heir apparent to SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son) and Alok Sama (now the company’s chief strategy officer).

The report added that the probe is also looking into whether that effort had any connections to current company insiders.

The spokesperson alleged that for over two years, SoftBank and its senior executives have been “subject to attacks based on falsehoods, innuendo and erroneous media reports”.

She added: “We continue to investigate the sources of unsubstantiated attacks on SoftBank and its executives and remain committed to protecting the interests and reputation of SoftBank.”

The SoftBank spokesperson noted that while the motivation behind these allegations remains unknown, its Board had earlier investigated thoroughly the claims against Arora and Sama and had found them to be baseless.

Arora had quit SoftBank in June 2016 after Masayoshi Son announced that he would continue in his role as CEO for another five or 10 years, instead of handing over the reins to Arora, who was seen as a frontrunner for the top job.

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