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Meet IIT alumnus Rajeev Misra, a likely successor to SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son



Not too long ago, India-born Nikesh Arora, the former second-in-command at Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank Group, was tipped to be the successor to company’s founder Masayoshi Son. Arora, who hogged the headlines a few years back for his astronomical pay package while he was President and COO at the Tokyo-based internet giant, had quit in 2016 following a dispute with SoftBank shareholders. Two years later, Rajeev Misra, another India-born executive was named as Executive Vice President of the Board of Directors. The 56-year-old Misra is currently at the helm of SoftBank Investment Advisers as CEO, leading its $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund.

The IIT-Delhi alumnus is among the three senior executives who were appointed as Executive Vice Presidents of the Board of Directors. The trio are being seen as potential successors when the 60-year-old SoftBank CEO decides to step down. Misra, who was elevated to the board of the SoftBank Group last year will draw a salary of $11.2 million including cash and stock, The Economic Times reported. However, Misra’s compensation dwarfs in comparison to what Nikesh Arora made during his tenure. Arora was paid a salary of $73 million (Rs 488 crore) in 2015-2016.

The other two executives who have been elevated include SoftBank Chief Operating Officer (COO) Marcelo Claure and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Katsunori Sago. The appointment is subject to the approval of the 38th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders and Board of Directors meeting to be held on June 20, 2018, SoftBank said.

After graduating from IIT-Delhi, Misra went on to study at University of Pennsylvania. He later got his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management. The newly-appointed Executive Vice President is also a Director of Uber Technologies, Inc. since January 2018. After joining SoftBank in November 2014, Misra served as Head of Strategic Finance at SoftBank Group Corp. from November 3, 2014 to October 2016.

With Misra already taking care of the SoftBank’s multi-billion-dollar investment fund, the appointment is likely to further his chances of becoming the next-in-line when CEO Masayoshi Son decides to hang up his boots.

Prior to joining SoftBank, Misra has had a vast experience in banking and finance. Misra spent 5 years at UBS as the Global Head of Credit and Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities in Europe, Middle East and Africa. While at the firm, in January 2010 he was appointed as the Joint Global Head and Global Head of Emerging Markets. Misra has also served as the Head of Credit Derivatives and Chief of Global Credit Trading at Deutsche Bank. He was at Merrill Lynch for 7 years working in derivative marketing and trading. Misra has spent over 10 years at various executive positions.

Last week, Nikesh Arora was named as the chief executive officer of cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks. He succeeds Mark McLaughlin, who is transitioning to the role of vice chairman of the Board for Palo Alto Networks. At Google, Arora was instrumental in growing tech giant’s search business from $2 billion in revenues to over $60 billion in revenues.

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