Leaked memo sent by SoftBank’s Vision Fund CEO defends 2 senior execs at the heart of a blistering Businessweek report

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Vision Fund chief executive Rajeev Misra defended chief financial officer Navneet Govil and managing partner Jeff Housenbold after a blistering Bloomberg Businessweek report earlier this week.
Misra wrote that the report contained “unsubstantiated and reckless personal attacks on our employees,” and that the firm is “taking the appropriate next steps, including potential legal action.”
A spokesperson for Bloomberg News told Business Insider “we stand by our reporting.”
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SoftBank’s Vision Fund is circling the wagons around two senior executives and defending their investments following a blistering report in Bloomberg Businessweek that purported to describe the firm’s culture and investment track record.

In a memo to staff, Vision Fund chief executive Rajeev Misra defended chief financial officer Navneet Govil and managing partner Jeff Housenbold and criticized Bloomberg’s report as containing “unsubstantiated and reckless personal attacks on our employees.” Misra said the company may pursue legal action.

“Businessweek’s portrayal of our culture is inaccurate and based on unsubstantiated claims by anonymous sources,” a SoftBank spokesperson said in response to an inquiry from Business Insider. “It seems clear that the reporters were under pressure to sensationalize the story for the cover of their magazine.”

A spokesperson for Bloomberg News told Business Insider “we stand by our reporting.”

Misra sent the 600-word missive to all SoftBank Vision Fund employees on Dec. 20, according to the memo seen by Business Insider.

He stressed that “fostering a strong, respectful, and supportive culture is of the highest priority” of SoftBank and “at the heart of our long-term success.”

Misra then slammed Bloomberg for its editorial approach to the SoftBank feature story in Businessweek, which ran two days ago under the headline, “SoftBank Vision Fund Employees Depict a Culture of Recklessness.” He wrote that SoftBank held discussions with Bloomberg reporters and senior editors and that they “failed to produce supporting evidence” about claims regarding Govil and Housenbold.

Below is the full memo provided to Business Insider.

Team,

As you know, fostering a strong, respectful, and supportive culture is of the highest priority and at the heart of our long-term success. We have grown incredibly quickly over the last two and a half years. Clearly, we’ve made some mistakes along the way, as we’ve acknowledged. We’re learning, and we welcome scrutiny. But we can’t accept unsubstantiated and reckless personal attacks on our employees.

While there were many issues with the reporting in yesterday’s Bloomberg Businessweek story, we’re compelled to address the serious allegations made against Jeff and Navneet. Both are highly valued members of our executive leadership team. The claims in the story are anonymous and unsubstantiated, and we’re appalled that Jeff and Navneet have been subjected to these personal attacks. We have held a number of discussions with the Bloomberg reporters and the publication’s most senior editors, who have failed to produce supporting evidence while ignoring facts that proved many of their allegations to be baseless.

For example, the piece alleges that Navneet made multiple derogatory comments in front of colleagues. These anonymous reported comments are inaccurate. Bloomberg ignored the …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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