Arm China Pursues Rogue CEO in Court, Close to Ousting

The Arm logo, white on blue
(Image credit: Arm Limited)

The ongoing saga of SoftBank and its China operations in the wake of the failed sale of Arm to Nvidia has taken a curious twist, according to a report on Yahoo! Finance, with the former CEO of Arm China, fired in 2020, still refusing to leave. 

A girl stands outside a SoftBank branch in Hankyu-Ibaraki, Japan

(Image credit: Kirakirameister)

Exactly why Allen Wu likes his job so much remains unclear, but he retains possession of the company’s registration documents and seal, allowing him to run the company in defiance of its directors. Wu was let go in 2020 for alleged conflicts of interest, with Reuters reporting that the board of Arm China, a joint venture between Arm, SoftBank, and Chinese investors, had voted 7-1 to oust him.

According to the Guardian, Wu has hit back with three legal actions against Arm China, all of which will need to be overcome before SoftBank can float Arm on the stock market, its backup plan following the collapse of the sale to Nvidia earlier this year. In the Guardian, SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son suggested that the US Nasdaq exchange would be most appropriate, with Bloomberg reporting that the Japan-based multinational holding company would retain a controlling interest in Arm after the IPO.

To get things moving, SoftBank’s board is filing paperwork in China to change the representative of Arm China listed on the Chinese government database and to get a new company seal issued. According to sources, Yahoo! Finance, via Bloomberg, all this is left anonymous, as the process is not yet public. SoftBank and representatives of Wu likewise refused to comment. However, a new seal could be issued within days, removing a major source of uncertainty as the company gears up for its IPO.

The IPO, which is expected before Q1 of 2023, should see Arm, the chip-maker behind smartphones, tablets, and Raspberry Pi boards, valued for at least $60 billion, according to Bloomberg. 

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

  • King_V
    I'm just picturing this weird sitcom, whose pilot episode begins with:

    "You're fired!"

    "LOL, challenge accepted!"
  • digitalgriffin
    Wanna bet Mr Wu has been making side deals and diverting funds to "private interest"? This would explain why he's afraid to turn over financial documents, as this corruption would become clear. Wouldn't be the first time this happened. Remember how Enron and Bernie Madoff danced around financial regulators request?

    I bet he will drop off the map soon.
  • King_V
    Yeah, that wouldn't surprise me at all, to be honest.