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Japanese investment giant SoftBank Group said on Friday that its chief operating officer, Marcelo Claure, will leave the company, after reports that his demands for up to $1 billion in compensation had fueled an internal standoff.

The group’s founder, Masayoshi Son, said in a statement that Bolivian-American businessman Claure, 51, “made many contributions to SoftBank” during his nine years at the firm.

“We thank him for his dedication and wish him continued success in his future endeavours,” said Son, Japan’s richest person according to Forbes, who has transformed the telecom group into a technology investment giant.

The statement came after Bloomberg News reported that Claure has clashed with Son in recent months as he pushed for $1 billion in compensation after earning $16 million in the last fiscal year.

Claure had argued that he deserved more money and authority after making key contributions to the company, including turning around and selling US telecommunications unit Sprint and listing WeWork, a troubled startup, Bloomberg said.

Michel Combes will take over from Claure at SoftBank Group International and oversee her investment and operating portfolio, the company said.

In the same press release, Claure said that he would “always be grateful for my experience at SoftBank.”

“I am particularly grateful to Masayoshi Son, who gave me the opportunity to thrive at SoftBank and served as a mentor and friend during my tenure,” he added.

A SoftBank Group spokesman told AFP that Claure would be replaced by another SoftBank representative on the board of directors of WeWork, a shared-office startup.

In 2016, Son’s then-right-hand man, Nikesh Arora, resigned from the company just two years after being removed from a high-profile role at Google, with SoftBank citing a “difference in expected timelines” for the succession.

Son later admitted that his desire to hold on to power a little longer had alienated the former US tech executive seen as his heir apparent.

Category: Japan

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