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Softbank COO Marcelo Claure, right-hand man to Masa Son, is leaving the company, sources say

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Marcelo Claure, Chairman of WeWork, Inc., speaks during an interview at WeWork’s IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 21, 2021.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters

SoftBank Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure is preparing to resign from the Japanese technology conglomerate as soon as Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.

Claure has been in discussions to leave SoftBank for several months, said the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. Claure may be looking to run his own investment firm, one of the people said.

Claure joined SoftBank in 2013 after selling a majority stake of wireless provider Brightstar to the company for $1.26 billion. He later became CEO of the SoftBank majority-owned Sprint, which successfully merged with T-Mobile in April 2020.

When Claure stepped down as Sprint chief in 2018, he took on additional roles at SoftBank, including COO at SoftBank Group and CEO at SoftBank Group International. Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son chose him to revamp WeWork in October 2019 after Son helped push out founder Adam Neumann from running the company.

The New York Times reported Claure wanted $2 billion in compensation from SoftBank for turning around WeWork, which went public via a special purpose acquisition vehicle in October, and successfully putting Sprint together with T-Mobile. Bloomberg reported earlier Thursday that Claure is stepping down due to compensation disagreements with Son.

This isn’t the first time a close advisor to Son has abruptly departed the company. Nikesh Arora, who arrived at SoftBank to eventually succeed Son, left in 2016 when Son decided he wasn’t ready to step down. Alok Sama, another top Son lieutenant, left the company in 2019.

WATCH: Marcelo Claure to step down as SoftBank COO

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