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SoftBank Names New Overseas Unit Chief Amid Fresh Churn

Alex Clavel will take charge of a gamut of assets including chip designer Arm, which SoftBank hopes to list, and stakes in satellite firm OneWeb and telco T-Mobile US Inc


SoftBank's Vision Fund posted a $17bn quarterly loss on Monday.
SoftBank's big bets on tech startups have turned into a debacle. File photo: Reuters.

 

SoftBank Group on Wednesday named Alex Clavel as chief executive of SoftBank Group International (SBGI) in place of Michel Combes, who leaves after six months in the role.

Clavel will take charge of a gamut of assets including chip designer Arm, which SoftBank hopes to list, and stakes in satellite company OneWeb, telco T-Mobile US and robotics firm Boston Dynamics.

The executive, who spent 19 years at Morgan Stanley before joining SoftBank in 2015, participated in the restructuring of office space-sharing firm WeWork and the integration of Latin American funds into the Vision Fund following the departure of chief operating officer Marcelo Claure.

SoftBank transformed the tech industry with big bets on startups but the conglomerate has turned over much of its executive team and has been forced to scale back investing activity through its Vision Fund as its portfolio slumps.

The recent exits underscore chief executive Masayoshi Son’s dominance of the Japanese conglomerate and its board at a time of strategic drift. Son will address shareholders on Friday.

Son “needs people to provide safeguards, give him advice and make him even more successful,” outgoing SoftBank board member Lip-Bu Tan wrote in a statement earlier this month, adding that “poor choices made too quickly can have negative consequences for the company”.

 

  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard

 

 

 

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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years and has a family in Bangkok.

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