BENGALURU: Nikesh Arora, the India-born president of Japanese telecom and internet giant SoftBank, received a pay package of $73 million (Rs500 crore) in 2015-16, making him one of the highest-paid executives in the world, according to a Bloomberg report.
The agency said Arora’s salary package was on par with the likes of Apple CEO Tim Cook ($65 million) and Walt Disney head Bob Iger ($46.5 million). This is the second year in a row that Arora has figured in Bloomberg’s list of top paid global executives.
Arora, a former Google executive, joined SoftBank in mid 2014 as senior vice-president and quickly rose to the second rung as its president. At the time of joining he also created a record of sorts with a pay package estimated at $150 million, which SoftBank later clarified included Arora’s joining bonus.
RsIt was under Arora’s leadership that SoftBank’s investment arm became a major player in Indian e-commerce, having invested in e-tailer Snapdeal, cab-ride aggregator Ola and online real estate platform Housing.com.
SoftBank’s investment in India crossed $1 billion a year ago, and the company said recently it will cross $10 billion in the coming years. Last June, SoftBank and contract manufacturing giant Foxconn had partnered with Bharti Enterprises in plans to invest $20 billion in solar power projects in the country.
SoftBank’s chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son has indicated that Arora is the most likely person to take his place.
Son had reiterated his confidence in Arora when a US-based group of investors had questioned Arora’s abilities and sought his removal. “I have complete trust in Nikesh and know he will continue to do great things for SoftBank in the future.”
The investors had pointed to possible conflict of interest in Arora’s role as a senior adviser to private equity firm Silver Lake while being an employee of SoftBank. They also suggested that Arora may have been involved in past wrongdoing.
SoftBank dismissed the claims as unsubstantiated allegations.