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Japanese founder-run firms face succession problems

Tokyo

THE surprise departure of Nikesh Arora, heir apparent at SoftBank Group Corp, highlights a problem that many Japanese companies face: passing the reins to a successor.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, 58, said last Tuesday that he wants to remain at the helm of the company that he built from a computer software distributor into one of Japan's largest telecommunications and investment groups, while Mr Arora aspired to be chief executive officer more quickly.

Mr Son's decision to cling to control until he loses confidence in his physical strength is the latest example of a leadership transfer at a Japanese company that has gone wrong. Many of these firms are managed and owned by ageing entrepreneurs,...

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