SoftBank CEO Son’s pay fell by half last year

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FILE PHOTO: SoftBank Corp. placard is prepared during a ceremony to mark the company's debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: SoftBank Corp. placard is prepared during a ceremony to mark the company’s debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato

May 27, 2021

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) -SoftBank Group Corp Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s remuneration for the past business year fell by 52% to 100 million yen ($915,000) including basic pay, a filing from the Japanese conglomerate showed on Thursday.

The disclosure ahead of SoftBank’s annual general meeting on June 23 follows a turbulent year which saw the group pounded by the COVID-19 pandemic before rebounding to record profit on market appetite for its technology investments.

Son, who has spoken of the need to pay top dollar to attract talent, received the modest pay package just as his fortune was lifted by recovery in the group’s share price after a $23 billion buyback programme which also boosted his ownership https://www.reuters.com/article/softbank-group-stocks-idCNL4N2ML1W7.

The entrepreneur’s stake in the company he founded is worth around $38 billion at Wednesday’s closing price of 8,274 yen.

The filing also showed Simon Segars, CEO of Britain-based chip designer Arm, received the largest disclosed remuneration of 1.9 billion yen. SoftBank agreed to sell Arm https://www.reuters.com/article/arm-holdings-m-a-nvidia-idUSKBN26507O to U.S. chip firm Nvidia Corp in November in a $40 billion deal that is yet to receive regulatory approval.

The filing did not reveal full numeration for top SoftBank executives including Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra and Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure who left the group’s board in November, as their pay after that point was not disclosed.

Misra’s disclosed remuneration was 931 million yen ($8.5 million) – down 42% when compared with the year prior, when he sat on the board for the full 12 months. Claure’s remuneration fell 15% to roughly 1.8 billion yen, with his package including the cost of his relocation to the United States.

In total eight executives received $64 million, including former strategy chief Katsunori Sago who has since left the firm https://www.reuters.com/article/instant-article/idUSKBN2AX111.

SoftBank announced further changes to its board last week including the nomination https://www.reuters.com/article/us-softbank-group-corporate-governance-idCAKCN2D305H of a gaming industry executive Keiko Erikawa, chair of Koei Tecmo Holdings Co Ltd.

A veteran stock picker who has known Son for many years, Erikawa owns SoftBank shares worth around $7 million.

($1 = 109.1300 yen)

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)