SoftBank pays ex-COO RM414m in severance, incentives

SOFTBANK Group Corp’s former COO Marcelo Claure (picture) has secured severance and incentives worth an estimated US$94 million (RM413.78 million) as part of his compensation from the tech investment giant.

Claure departed SoftBank in January with severance totaling 4.6 billion yen (RM149.83 million), the company said in a filing on Friday. His compensation also includes another 8.1 billion yen – the estimated value as of March of the executive portion in an incentive program. Claure has a claim to 30% of the employee incentive award pool for the Vision Fund’s Latin America fund, that could run through 2029.

Claure’s departure put an end to a tumultuous tenure capped by a clash over compensation with founder Masayoshi Son. Claure had sought more authority and as much as $1 billion in compensation in recognition of his work.

The 51-year-old Claure became one of Son’s top lieutenants after selling his cellphone distributor to SoftBank, rising to become COO in 2018. He was the company’s operational guru, helping to turn around the US wireless carrier Sprint Corp and the troubled co-working start-up WeWork.

Claure also accumulated seven million shares in T-Mobile US Inc, which acquired Sprint, a stake now worth about US$957 million. The former COO owed US$515 million at the end of March on a loan SoftBank provided him to purchase 5 million T-Mobile shares in 2020, Friday’s filing said. The loan balance is due in 2024.

Claure’s retirement has been followed by a series of high-profile exits in recent months. Michel Combes, who took over Claure’s responsibility for SoftBank Group International and was in charge of SBGI’s operating and investment portfolio, is also leaving the post as of June 30, the company said this week. In April, two of the three managing partners at the company’s Latin America Fund left to start their own venture business.

The operator of the Vision Fund – the world’s largest investor in tech startups – is struggling to regain its footing amid a drop in tech valuations resulted in a record loss for the company in the quarter ended in March. Its own shares have lost 33% from a year ago, wiping out $35 billion in value. – Bloomberg


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