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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Nikesh Arora quits Google, set to join Softbank soon

Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times  Washington, July 18, 2014
First Published: 13:47 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 02:47 IST(19/7/2014)

Google’s Indian-born chief business officer Nikesh Arora, the search giant’s highest paid executive with a $50 million (`300-crore) annual salary, is leaving the company to join Japan’s SoftBank, a rapidly rising telecom and Internet conglomerate that recently unveiled an emotion-sensing robot.

In his new role, the IIT, Banaras-educated engineer is likely to run Sprint, America’s No. 3 telecom player that Softbank recent acquired, and maybe, T-Mobile, where he once worked, because Softbank is also eyeing a buyout of that company.

Arora, 46, thanked Google for his phenomenal 10-year stint in the company, whose chief executive officer Larry Page described him in a send-off blog as  a “tremendous leader, adviser and mentor to many Googlers — including me”. He said Arora will be replaced for now by Omid Kordestani, Google’s business founder who led the sales teams for many years.

Arora, who was until recently also a director at Bharti Airtel, joined Google in 2004, and rose rapidly to head the company’s revenue and customer operations, and marketing and partnerships as chief business officer.

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There was no word on his compensation package at Softbank, which, it’s safe to assume, will be considerably more than the $50 million at Google.

It has been a month of significant changes for Arora. He married Delhi businesswoman Ayesha Thapar, of the Thapar family and head of its real estate business, 10 days ago in Italy.

It is a second marriage for both of them. Arora has a daughter from his earlier marriage, while Thapar was married to a Turkish businessman.

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SoftBank acquired Sprint, America’s third largest telecom operator in 2013, and is eyeing T-Mobile, the number four, to take on the big two — Verizon and AT&T.
Google’s profit in the April-June  quarter rose 6% year-on-year to $3.42 billion, and revenue zoomed 22% at $16.0 billion.

 


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