Son’s comments come as he looks to broaden SoftBank’s global spread.
“Google is virtually the no. 1 internet company in the world and Nikesh was no.2 in that company,“ Son said. “He has been quite (an asset) to SoftBank group for the last nine months and we would like to accelerate that further so that we can build a strong team of talent to implement our global strategy.“ Arora joined SoftBank as vice-chairman and CEO of SB Group US, previously SoftBank Internet and Media, in September last year. He has been responsible for scouting investment opportunities for the company in the internet and mobile sector. Over the past year, SoftBank has emerged as a major investor in Indian technology companies, with about $1 billion going into Snapdeal, Olacabs and Housing.com. The company has said that it plans to invest $10 billion in India over the next few years.
Outside India, Arora led SoftBank’s $250-million investment in Hollywood production house and media company Legendary Entertainment in October, last year. The company is known for producing The Dark Knight trilogy, Godzilla, Inception, Batman Begins and Superman Returns among others. SoftBank has also formed a joint venture with Legendary Entertainment that will make use of the production house’s intellectual property rights across television, digital, licensing, merchandising and other ancillary lines. It also led a $600-million investment in the Chinabased taxi hailing app Kuaidi Dache in January. Arora, who previously worked at Google as its chief business officer, paid tribute to Son. “Masa is equivalent as a business innovator as Larry (Page) and Sergey (Brin) are as technology innovators and being a very strong student of business, I felt I could learn a lot more from a business side from Masa than I did from Larry and Sergey.“