SoftBank’s Nikesh Arora — the man who Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son is backing as his replacement at the Japanese company — is doubling down on his employer after he agreed to buy 60 billion JPY ($483 million) in company shares from his own pocket.
Arora, a former Google executive, made the investment voluntarily and in a personal capacity, according to a regulatory filing from SoftBank.
Arora, who used his own savings and borrowed money to finance the deal, said the move underlines his commitment to the cause:
My past year with the SoftBank Group has been very rewarding. As a measure of my commitment, I have decided to take a personal bet on the SoftBank Group and ensure an alignment of vision, with our founder and Chairman & CEO Masayoshi Son. This is a large transaction for me, and involves taking an enormous risk in my life once again. However, I am extremely confident about the future of the SoftBank Group and the long-term objectives that we have set out. I intend to work closely with Mr. Son to make the vision a reality.
Arora joined as vice chairman of SoftBank Corp. and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media (now called SB Group US) in September 2014. He has since blossomed into its rising star and heir-in-waiting. Arora became SoftBank COO and President in May, going on to replace Son as Chairman of Yahoo Japan’s board in a symbolic appointment made later that month.
Son has already spoken publicly of his plan to see Arora replace him, and the billionaire Japanese businessman once again reiterated that in the filing:
I am delighted that Nikesh has decided to double down on his partnership with me at the SoftBank Group. As I have said, his vision and mine are aligned and we plan to work together for many years to make the SoftBank Group a sustainable success for decades to come. I expect him to succeed me at the appropriate time. The last year of working together could not have gone better and it has surpassed every expectation that I had. Nikesh is a great business leader, a wonderful complement to me, and he’s a good person at heart.