In a surprise move announced today, SoftBank Group Corp President Nikesh Arora said he has quit (actual resignation will be on Wednesday, June 22 at a shareholders meeting) – he will continue in the post of an adviser from July 1, according to reports. This latest move has been as sudden as his appointment in the Japanese Internet conglomerate less than 2 years ago and comes close on the heels of an inquiry that cleared him of any wrongdoing.
According to the SoftBank the reason behind the move by Nikesh Arora to exit the company was a disagreement with his mentor Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Masayoshi Son over when the Indian origin executive would replace him as the group’s head. Among the 2 top reasons cited before this by a group of investors who had targetted Arora and even called for his removal were conflicts of interest and the amount of pay that was being paid to him.
While Nikesh Arora’s initial appointment had been an eye-opener, what had really grabbed eyeballs was his humongous salary at an organisation that was not known as a great paymaster as far as global MNCs were concerned.
As SoftBank Group Corp President, Nikesh Arora received a salary of $73 million (8.04 billion yen) this fiscal year, which kept him in the elevated position of being one of the top-paid executives in the world for the second consecutive year. To put things in perspective, SoftBank founder and CEO, Masayoshi Son, who actually hired Arora, was paid $1.2 million (130 million yen).
According to Bloomberg, at that exalted levels Arora was one of the best paid CEOs and vied for position at the top of the list with the best in the world.
Nikesh Arora slots into the third position while the highest-paid CEO is cancer-research company NantKwest Inc’s Patrick Soon-Shiong who is being paid $329.7 million. Blackstone Group LP’s President Hamilton Evans James beat Arora in terms of pay package to take the second position – his take was over $75 mn. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein was getting $33.1 million as pay.
While it is not clear what kind of a severance package Arora has, if any, what is clear is that the Indian-origin man has added a lot of heft to his CV after top exec posts at both Google and now Softbank.
Data Courtesy: Bloomberg