HindustanTimes Sat,22 Nov 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.

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.

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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