Key Takeaways From SoftBank's Latest High Profile Exit

  • Softbank Group Corp SFTBY Investment Advisers' CEO and right hand of Masayoshi Son Rajeev Misra is looking to depart to launch his venture fund, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • Misra came to SoftBank in 2014 and helped turn it into the most prominent and controversial technology investor. 
  • Misra will stay on in a reduced capacity at SoftBank, overseeing the original Vision Fund investments while stepping back from oversight of its successor, Vision Fund 2. Misra will remain as Vice-Chair of the group that supervises Vision Fund 2.
  • The move followed several other senior SoftBank executives in recent months depleting Son's bench amid a meltdown in technology valuations.
  • COO Marcelo Claure departed in January. Other departures included strategy chief Katsunori Sago, senior investment executive Akshay Naheta, and Silicon Valley veteran Deep Nishar.  
  • Misra is credited for debt restructuring and eventually helping SoftBank sell off Sprint, chunks of other core assets, including its Japanese telecom provider and its giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA holding.
  • Misra's most significant impact at SoftBank was piloting the Vision Fund and its successor, Vision Fund 2, which gave Son the deepest pockets in Silicon Valley. 
  • However, SoftBank lost a record $13 billion in its most recent fiscal year as the tech stocks got brutally hammered, WSJ noted.
  • Son looked to take a more direct leadership role in running Vision Fund 2.
  • A set of Abu Dhabi-based investment funds will back Misra's new venture. Former SoftBank employees, including Naheta, will join Misra.
  • An Abu Dhabi government fund, Mubadala, was an anchor investor in the Vision Fund that Misra helped assemble in 2017.
  • Price Action: SFTBY shares traded higher by 0.64% at $19.92 on the last check Thursday.
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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