• Bloomberg

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Oyo, the Indian hotel-booking startup backed by Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group Corp., is merging its operations in Japan and appointing a new chief executive officer to oversee the combined entity.

The reorganization involves Oyo’s hotel-booking and apartment-rental units coming together into a single company called Oyo Japan, to be led by Ryoma Yamamoto as CEO with Ryota Tanozaki as his deputy, both promoted from senior roles in the existing Oyo operations.

Japan has been a focal point for Oyo’s international expansion due to Son’s endorsement and association with the SoftBank brand name, which is ubiquitous in the country.

The company operated Oyo Hotels and Oyo Life — a simplified rental service for furnished apartments that removed the hassle of guarantors or security deposits — as separate businesses in the country, but its aggressive growth plans were thwarted by the coronavirus outbreak along with operational challenges and upset hoteliers along the way.

At the end of June, the startup slashed its regional presence by closing offices in Sapporo, Sendai, Nagano, Hiroshima and Omiya, Saitama Prefecture. Tanozaki, chief business officer for Oyo Hotels at the time, said Oyo was also looking to downsize its Tokyo headquarters, which occupy two floors in an office building walking distance from the Imperial Palace. The moves are part of the company’s ongoing effort to downsize internationally as it adapts to a much smaller tourism industry.

Yamamoto, who oversaw Oyo Life, will assume responsibility for the merged business after Oyo Hotels Japan leader Prasun Choudhary resigned.

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