Tokyo-based Internet giant SoftBank Group Corp. on Monday revealed that the special committee of board of directors have completed a review of shareholder’s allegations against President Nikesh Arora. And they’ve found him non-guilty and said that all allegations are without merit.
Earlier this year, certain SBG and Sprint Corp shareholders had raised allegations against the President by sending in a number of letters to the tech giant. The letter demanded a probe and probable dismissal of Arora, questioning his track record and qualifications. The investors also criticized Arora’s poor investment performance and a series of questionable transactions done under his tenure.
But, the statement released by the company says that,
The Special Committee has concluded that the claims concerning the conduct of Mr. Arora during his tenure at SBG are without merit.
The Special Committee was formed in February, just after the company had first received word of these allegations. It conducted its review with the assistance of independent counsel at Shearman & Sterling LLP and Anderson Mori & Tomotsune.
This outcome isn’t a complete shocker as SoftBank has always had Arora’s back. They have also supported him when the letter was originally made public in April this year. And even CEO Masayoshi Son had released a statement saying that,
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.
And Son has yet again released an additional statement reiterating his trust and belief in Arora and said that,
As I said when these allegations first became public, I have complete trust in Nikesh and I am pleased the special committee has looked into these claims thoroughly and concluded they are without merit
What was the fuss all about??
Let’s back-track and begin from the time when Arora was brought on the Tokyo tech giant’s board in 2014. Son – one of the richest man in Japan – named him the primary candidate to succeed him at SoftBank.
But once Arora took his position, a group of unidentified SoftBank and Sprint(also owned by SoftBank) started questioning his integrity and voicing concerns about him. He is also a director at Sprint corp, the US telecom company, and apparently, its board also received a letter from an investor, who wanted him to be removed as director.
The investors criticized Arora’s poor investment performance and questioned transactions completed under his tenure. Some anonymous investors also raised concerns about his alarming and intolerable compensation — which was comparable to Tim Cook.
But, SoftBank always defended Arora in the public and said that his skill set complements such a large reimbursement. And also it was the company’s affair to decide who got paid what.
But, however Arora is now clear of all allegations and accusations.
Nikesh Arora has been widely credited for channeling’s SoftBank’s money into the Indian startup ecosystem. SoftBank is now one of the largest investor in Indian startups, having pumped over $2 billion into the likes of Snapdeal, Ola, InMobi, OYO Rooms, and Housing.com.