SoftBank initiates a probe against smear campaign hatched to oust Nikesh Arora, others


Politics and conspiracies go hand in hand in personal as well professional lives. We all hear from friends and family how a fraction of colleagues at their workplace lobbies against them. Hatching conspiracy to harass a particular person or making things difficult for someone in the company is not rare. In fact, this practice has been growing with the growing working class.

The aforementioned practices are common amongst corporates and any professional setup, however, they are not rampant amongst large investment firms. In a surprising move, SoftBank has initiated an internal probe against a smear campaign hatched against the investment firm and its former executive Nikesh Arora.

A committee formed by SoftBank will probe the sources of unsubstantiated attacks levelled against erstwhile president Nikesh Arora as per statement quoted by several media reports.

US-based newspaper Wall Street Journal had reported that the Masayoshi Son-led firm is investigating a shareholder-led smear campaign against Arora, Son and group’s current chief strategy officer Alok Sama.

Arora was once hailed as a successor to founder Son. He had joined the group in October 2014 and led investments in India, including in Snapdeal and Oyo. After 20 months stint at SoftBank as president, he had resigned from the company in June 2016.

The WSJ article also mentioned that the allegations against Arora and Sama involved public shareholder letters asking for their ouster. Leaks of personal financial information including a complaint registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission are also under the probe.

Following the controversial campaign, Sama had also resigned from the posts of SoftBank’s president and the chief financial officer.

Importantly, the article also claimed that an Italian private equity investor, Alessandro Benedetti was behind the smear campaign. Benedetti had previous relationships with SoftBank Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra.

Currently, Misra is one of the top executives of the SoftBank Vision Fund.

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