(Bloomberg) -- SoftBank Group Corp.’s Michel Combes is leaving his post as head of overseas arm SoftBank Group International (SBGI) five months after taking on the role vacated by former SoftBank Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure.
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SBGI Managing Partner Alex Clavel will replace Combes as chief executive officer on June 30, SoftBank said in a news release. The division coordinates with SoftBank’s Vision Fund to vet new investments while also providing operational assistance to group and portfolio companies outside Japan.
Combes, who will close a five-year career at SoftBank, adds to a string of key departures in recent months. Claure left the firm following clashes with billionaire founder Masayoshi Son over compensation and responsibilities. Two of the three managing partners at the company’s Latin America Fund departed to start their own venture business in April. In that same month, Ronald Fisher, Son’s long-time lieutenant also stepped down from his role leading the Vision Fund’s US arm.
The exiting SBGI chief “has played a critical role in some of our most important investments and assets, and I wish him all the best with his future plans,” Son said in the release. “I’m glad he will remain part of the SoftBank family by continuing to represent us on various portfolio company boards.”
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The high-profile exits come during a trying time for the investment company. Five years of deploying billions of dollars into some of the world’s most celebrated startups saddled SoftBank with a record loss in the year ended in March after a global rout in tech valuations. With focus now on its own financial health, SoftBank this year will conduct fewer and smaller deals, and deal flow from the world’s biggest tech fund may dwindle to a quarter of last year’s, Son has said.
Clavel -- a longtime Morgan Stanley investment banker -- helped SoftBank manage its investments in companies ranging from T-Mobile US Inc., Deutsche Telekom AG, WeWork and OneWeb, and he is on the boards of Arm China, Boston Dynamics, InMobi, SB Energy and Goggo, SoftBank said.
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