SoftBank Vision Fund Head’s Pay Doubled Last Year Despite Massive Losses

SoftBank Vision Fund’s head, Rajeev Misra, saw his total pay for the past business year more than double to JPY 1.6 billion (roughly Rs. 112 crores), even as the fund’s underperformance pushed SoftBank to a record $13 billion (roughly Rs. 98,296 crores) operating loss. The figure was second only to renumeration for SoftBank Group Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure, which rose 17 percent to 2.1 billion yen.

While offering big pay packets to foreign executives, compensation for CEO Masayoshi Son was JPY 209 million (roughly Rs. 14 crores), a 9 percent decline compared to a year earlier, a SoftBank filing showed.

SoftBank’s massive annual operating loss was largely due to an $18 billion (roughly Rs. 1.36 lakh crores) shortfall at the $100 billion (roughly Rs. 7.56 lakh crores) Vision Fund, which has seen investments in startups like office sharing firm WeWork and ride-hailing app operator Uber.

A key architect of the disastrous WeWork investment, vice chairman Ron Fisher who was the group’s most highly paid executive in the previous business year, saw his renumeration slashed 80 percent to JPY 680 million (roughly Rs. 47 crores). COO Claure has become WeWork’s executive chairman as SoftBank restructures the startup.

The heavily indebted tech conglomerate’s growing dependence on Japan’s big three banks was underscored by the filing – with borrowing from top lender Mizuho Financial Group more than doubling to JPY 1.39 trillion (roughly Rs. 97,990 crores) in the year ended March.

Together with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, borrowing climbed by more than JPY 1 trillion (roughly Rs. 70,496 crores) to JPY 2.45 trillion (roughly Rs. 1.72 lakh crores).

SoftBank’s deteriorating performance has forced Son into a programme of asset sales, including a 1.25 trillion yen monetization of Alibaba shares, to fund buybacks and shore up the group’s balance sheet.

Earlier this month Son told investors in May that tech unicorns have plunged into the “valley of the coronavirus”.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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