Marcelo Claure Is Said to Be Leaving SoftBank

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Marcelo Claure, a top deputy to SoftBank’s founder, Masayoshi Son, will step down as chief operating officer following a dispute over roughly $2 billion in possible compensation.

SoftBank, a Japanese conglomerate that has made huge investments in start-ups including WeWork and Uber, is expected to make an official announcement in the coming days about the resignation of Mr. Claure, who joined SoftBank in 2017 after running the telecom company Sprint, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

Michel Combes, the former chief executive of the communications company Altice who currently serves as president of SoftBank Group International, will assume Mr. Claure’s duties running SoftBank’s international operations, according to one of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information had not been made public.

Mr. Claure’s impending departure was reported earlier by CNBC.

In just a few years, Mr. Claure became a close confidant of Mr. Son and played a singular role at SoftBank, frequently untangling messy investments, scouting out lucrative opportunities and wooing start-up founders.

The disagreement about his compensation over coming years had unfolded in recent months, The New York Times reported in December. Mr. Claure privately told people inside and outside the company that he deserved a big payday for various cleanup jobs, including straightening out SoftBank’s investment in WeWork, the office-space leasing giant that went public in October, as well as the future value he could bring to SoftBank.

It was unclear what Mr. Claure’s exit package would be.

Mr. Son and other SoftBank executives had balked at Mr. Claure’s compensation request, fearing it would upset investors in Japan, where such big payouts are frowned upon. Mr. Claure was already one of the highest paid executives in Japan, making $17 million in 2020.


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