SoftBank strategy chief Sago to step down

FILE PHOTO: Japan Post Bank Chief Investment Officer Katsunori Sago speaks during an interview for the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: Japan Post Bank Chief Investment Officer Katsunori Sago speaks during an interview for the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in Tokyo, Japan November 16, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

March 5, 2021

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group’s chief strategy officer, Katsunori Sago, will resign at the end of March, the company said on Friday.

Sago, a Goldman Sachs alumnus and former chief investment officer of Japan Post Bank Co where he was one of “Seven Samurai” who engineered a more aggressive investing approach, took the newly created strategy job at SoftBank in 2018.

The departure of one of CEO Masayoshi Son’s key lieutenants comes after power consolidated around Vision Fund chief Rajeev Misra and Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure, and as SoftBank invests in public companies under rising star Akshay Naheta.

Sago “played a crucial part in expanding SBG’s potential as an investment company,” Son said in a statement, which did not provide a reason for the departure.

Last year, following investor pressure to improve oversight at the group, SoftBank removed several high-profile executives from the board, including Sago, Misra and Claure.

SoftBank Group last month reported that third-quarter net profit ballooned more than 20 times thanks to recovery at its Vision Fund.

(This story refiles to correct capitalisation in para 2 and 3)

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando and Sam Nussey; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Jason Neely and David Goodman)