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SoftBank confirms departure of COO Marcelo Claure, names new CEO for international unit

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Marcelo Claure speaks on stage during the Digital X event on September 07, 2021 in Cologne, Germany.
Andreas Rentz | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group confirmed Friday that Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure is leaving the company after a nine-year tenure.

CNBC reported Thursday that Claure was going to resign from the company, citing people familiar with the matter. Sources told CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin and Alex Sherman that Claure had been in discussions to leave SoftBank for several months.

SoftBank Group shares in Tokyo rose 3.28% in afternoon trade on that news.

Claure, seen by many as the right-hand man to SoftBank boss Masayoshi Son, was also CEO of SoftBank Group International. He led turnaround operations at Sprint, which later merged with T-Mobile in 2020, and WeWork after founder Adam Neumann stepped down.

He helped launch SoftBank’s $5 billion fund in 2019 to invest in technology start-ups across Latin America as well as the SB Opportunity Fund that invests in underrepresented racial minorities.

Michel Combes, president of SoftBank Group International, was named CEO on Friday to replace Claure. He will oversee the company’s operating and investment portfolio.

“Marcelo has made many contributions to SoftBank during his time here and we thank him for his dedication and wish him continued success in his future endeavors,” Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

“I have great confidence in Michel Combes and the talented SoftBank team to continue with the great work we have underway at SBGI [SoftBank Group International].”

Claure is the latest among Son’s close advisors to abruptly depart the company. Nikesh Arora, who was primed to eventually succeed Son, departed in 2016 while Alok Sama left in 2019.

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