SoftBank’s $100b Vision Fund loses COO, four partners

Photograph: Bloomberg

SoftBank Vision Fund’s Chief Operating Officer Ruwan Weerasekera has retired, the latest in a spate of departures at the almost $100 billion vehicle.

The 54-year-old managing partner’s departure was confirmed by SoftBank spokesman Andrew Kovacs. Neil Hadley, who’s also chief of staff to Vision Fund Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Misra, will take on the COO role in addition to his current duties.

Weerasekera joins several executives who’ve left in recent days and an ongoing spate of resignations this year. The fund — which has 53 senior team members according to its website — has had to come to terms with high-profile losses at some of its largest portfolio companies, including Uber Technologies Inc., WeWork and hotel- and apartment-booking startup Oyo Hotels.

Penny Bodle, a partner who headed investor relations, has also departed, Kovacs confirmed. Avi Golan, an operating partner, has left to become CEO of artificial intelligence software maker AnyVision, the company said in a statement last week. U.K. Chief Risk Officer Maria Khan left in September, according to her LinkedIn page and confirmed by a spokesman.

Investing partners Ted Fike and Justin Wilson resigned to join Alec Gores’s eponymous Gores Group as senior managing directors, focusing on the firm’s special purpose acquisitions companies, or SPACs, effort, Kovacs said. Axios reported Fike and Wilson’s new roles on Sunday.

Vision Fund employees have described the company culture as one that rewards aggression and recklessness, a characterization the firm has disputed, Bloomberg Businessweek reported in December. Carolina Brochado, one of the few women in upper management at the fund, gave her notice in April, a month after she was made partner. Brochado’s promotion was meant to fill one of the gaps left by a previous round of departures.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.