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Robert Townsend to Join SoftBank Group as Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President


SoftBank Group Corp. (“SoftBank”) today announced that Robert Townsend, current co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s Global M&A Practice Group, will join SoftBank as Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of SoftBank, and Chief Legal Officer of SoftBank Group International, effective September 17, 2018.

Mr. Townsend will be based in SoftBank’s Silicon Valley office, and report to Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank, and Marcelo Claure, Director, Executive Vice President COO of SoftBank and Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank Group International. In this newly created role, Mr. Townsend will be responsible for leading SoftBank’s legal, compliance operations and corporate governance program on a global basis.

“Rob has been a trusted partner and valued advisor for many years,” said Mr. Son. “We are very pleased he has agreed to join SoftBank as we transition the company into a leading global investment firm focused on the technologies that will drive the next phase of the information revolution.”

Mr. Claure added, “Rob’s extensive experience and proven track record of advising global companies, as well as his deep involvement in the SoftBank Group’s largest and most complex transactions over many years, make him the perfect choice to serve SoftBank and its global portfolio of companies.”

Over the course of his thirty-year career, Mr. Townsend has established a track record of advising the world’s top companies through their most complicated and demanding transactions. Since joining Morrison & Foerster in 1984, he has represented clients in hundreds of public and private company acquisitions, strategic alliances, and financings, including numerous multi-billion dollar transactions, across a wide range of industries. Mr. Townsend’s clients have included some of the world’s leading technology, media and telecom companies. Mr. Townsend regularly advises on complex cross-border transactions, particularly those involving Japan, where he practiced for six years and served as Managing Partner from 1994 to 1996. In particular, Mr. Townsend has worked closely with SoftBank over the last several years to complete numerous transactions, including Sprint’s proposed merger with T-Mobile, as well as SoftBank’s acquisitions of ARM Holdings and Sprint Nextel. Mr. Townsend is widely recognized as one of the top global M&A advisors by leading independent authorities. He is recommended as a leading lawyer in Chambers USA, Chambers Global, Legal 500 US, Best Lawyers in America, and IFLR1000.

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