Palo Alto Networks Inc. PANW 0.53% is naming former SoftBank Group Corp. 9984 -0.04% president and operating chief Nikesh Arora as its next chairman and chief executive, a surprising decision that follows years of rapid growth for the cybersecurity company. Mr. Arora will replace Mark McLaughlin, who joined Palo Alto Networks as CEO in 2011 and took the company public in 2012. He oversaw brisk growth at a time when high-profile cyberattacks pushed corporations to beef up their investments in security software. In an interview, Mr. McLaughlin said that after nearly a decade of running publicly traded companies, he wants to spend more time with his family. He said he discussed the transition with the board for eight months.
SoftBank founder and Chief Executive SoftBank said Wednesday an agreement was reached overnight to sell its stake in Indian e-commerce company Flipkart to U.S. retailer giant Walmart. He did not give details, but said he was doubling his initial investment with the sale. An official announcement is coming soon, he said.
SoftBank Corp shares plunged more than 10 percent in their debut on Wednesday, as investor appetite for Japan's biggest ever IPO was hurt by a recent major service outage and worries over its exposure to Chinese telecom giant Huawei. Following its $23.5bn initial public offering, shares of the telecoms unit of SoftBank Group Corp fell as far as 1,344 yen ($11.95) five minutes into trade, or 10.4 percent lower than its IPO price of 1,500 yen ($13.34). The broader Tokyo market was down 1.0 percent. At 9:27am (00:27 GMT), the shares were at 1,367 yen ($12.16), after opening at 1,463 yen ($13.01). SoftBank Group was down 2.7 percent.
SoftBank Group Corp. said it will form a new fund to invest as much as 100 billion in the global technology industry in the next five years, partnering with Saudi Arabia's public investment fund to find tech companies that will become influential in the future. The Saudi government will consider putting money in the tentatively named SoftBank Vision Fund and becoming the lead investment partner, with a potential investment size of as much as 45 billion over the next five years, SoftBank said in a statement Friday. SoftBank, which will invest as much as 25 billion, said it signed a nonbinding memorandum of understanding with the Saudis. Other large global investors may participate, the company said, with the total possible size of the fund reaching up to 100 billion. Softbank Vision will likely back technology companies at all stages -- a strategy SoftBank employed to rack up big returns on deals including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Yahoo, SuperCell Oy and Didi.