Rakuten Symphony Announces Leadership Transition

  • Rakuten Symphony appoints Mickey Mikitani as CEO and Sharad Sriwastawa as acting president

Tokyo, Japan – Rakuten Symphony, a subsidiary of Rakuten Mobile, today announced that it has appointed Rakuten Group Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani as its Representative Director, Chairman and CEO, and Sharad Sriwastawa as its new Representative Director and Acting President to lead the company and advance its commercial interests. The new management structure is effective as of August 7, 2023.

Mikitani will draw on his position as Chairman and CEO of the Rakuten Group to drive Rakuten Symphony forward as it moves into its next phase of continued growth by maximizing group synergies. A proven leader with extensive experience in the field of telecom, Sriwastawa assumes the roles and responsibilities previously held by former Representative Director and CEO Tareq Amin, who departed the company on August 7, 2023.

“The appointment of Sharad Sriwastawa is emblematic of Rakuten Symphony’s mission to reimagine telecom,” said Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Group. “With his proven track record at Rakuten Mobile, deep understanding of global technology trends and the evolving commercial opportunities for companies in the telco sphere, we are pleased to expand Sharad's role as a visionary leader who will guide the company’s expansion, capitalize on our business momentum, and solidify its future as an industry-disrupting enterprise.”

Sriwastawa is a seasoned and highly recognized industry expert who brings nearly three decades of rich experience in the mobile industry to Rakuten Symphony. As the company’s Acting President, he will be responsible for advancing the progress of Rakuten Symphony’s innovative telco solutions that make it possible to launch and operate advanced mobile services in a fraction of the time and cost of conventional approaches, with no compromise to network quality or security.

Sharad Sriwastawa Executive Profile

An industry leader in telecommunications innovation, Sharad Sriwastawa is the Representative Director and Acting President of Rakuten Symphony, a Rakuten Group company spearheading the global adoption of cloud-native Open Radio Access Network (RAN) infrastructure and services.

After joining Rakuten Mobile in September 2018, Sriwastawa took the role of Chief Technology officer in March 2022, and he will take on the role of Representative Director, Co-CEO and CTO as of August 7, 2023. He was also appointed as Group Managing Executive Officer of Rakuten Group in April 2022. His stewardship is central to the development and operations of Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized, cloud-native mobile network based on Open RAN architecture.

Prior to the CTO role, Sriwastawa served as the Head of Connectivity Platforms, where he was the driving force behind constructing and industrializing cloud-native RAN, highlighting his unwavering commitment to openness and revolutionizing the telecommunications sector.

With a rich career spanning nearly three decades, Sriwastawa has been a transformative figure across continents. Before his tenure at Rakuten, he held positions such as Vice President of Airspan Networks Holdings, National Head of 3G at Reliance Communications, and Northeast Regional Manager for T-Mobile USA.

His career genesis at Siemens Public Communications Network in 1995 involved a contribution to building India’s first mobile network, showcasing his proclivity for innovation from the onset.

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