Executive overseeing investments leaves Japan’s SoftBank

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Tokyo (AP) – Marcelo Clore, who joined the SoftBank Group after turning one of its key investments in the WeWork office-sharing business, is leaving, the Japanese technology company said on Friday.

Clore has long been seen as a close aide to SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who has formed a nine-year partnership and oversees a large investment portfolio.

SoftBank Group, based in Tokyo, said the departure was “by mutual consent”. Softbank did not give a reason for his decision to leave. Several reports said he had disagreements with the company regarding his compensation.

His departure may revive ongoing speculation about Sun’s successor, who founded SoftBank in 1981. He made it clear that he wanted to nurture the next generation of leaders in his company, known for his bold, and sometimes unsuccessful, investments.

Claire, who moved to the U.S. from Bolivia, has worked on key projects, including the spin-off of the American cellular company Sprint and its merger with T-Mobile. Claire is the former CEO of Sprint.

He helped renovate WeWork after its founder Adam Neumann resigned in 2019. Claire also helped launch a large venture capital fund in South America.

“Marcello contributed a lot to SoftBank during his stay here, and we thank him for his dedication and wish him continued success in his future endeavors,” Sun said.

Claire said he is grateful to Son for being his mentor.

“Beyond the value we have created for SoftBank shareholders, we have invested in some of the most innovative and groundbreaking companies that will be industry leaders in the coming decades,” he said.

In a move related to the departure of Claire, Michelle Combs, former CEO of Sprint, becomes CEO of SoftBank Group International, another role played by Claire. Combs joined as president in 2020.

SoftBank’s investments include Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, American travel company Uber and startup insurance Lemonade. Although her financial results have often proven volatile, Son insists that several choices have stood the test of time. The company reports its profits on February 8th.

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Yuri Kagiyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

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