SoftBank to split responsibility for Japan, overseas operations


SoftBank Group Corp. plans to divide its Japanese and overseas operations, splitting the responsibility for managing some ¥9.2 trillion of investments spanning the broadband and mobile industries and a stake in China’s largest Internet-shopping service.

Group President Nikesh Arora will head up operations abroad, which includes stakes in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Sprint Corp., the Tokyo-based company said in a statement Monday.

Ken Miyauchi, who heads SoftBank’s mobile operations in Japan, will lead all domestic businesses, including its investment in Yahoo Japan Corp.

Masayoshi Son, who remains group chairman and chief executive officer, has entrusted Arora with overseeing global expansion and the turnaround of loss-making Sprint. A former Google executive, Arora plans to invest about $3 billion each year as SoftBank backs startups that can become the next Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce company that pulled off the world’s largest initial public offering in 2014.

“This makes perfect sense, considering how large SoftBank’s overseas holdings have gotten,” said Toshihiro Uomoto, the chief credit strategist in Tokyo at Nomura Holdings Inc. “This may speed things up at SoftBank, allowing domestic and overseas operations to race against each other.”

As of March 7, SoftBank’s domestic holdings, including Yahoo Japan and Gungho Online Entertainment Inc., were worth close to ¥1.2 trillion. Its international investments, spanning Alibaba, Sprint and China’s Renren Inc., were valued at about ¥8 trillion as of Friday, according to its website.

SoftBank shares are down 6.3 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent drop in the Nikkei 225 stock average.