SoftBank increases its interest in Aldebaran to 95%

Today Aldebaran Robotics SAS (“Aldebaran”) and Bruno Maisonnier announce that, upon Bruno Maisonnier‘s request, they have entered an agreement whereby the SoftBank Group will purchase all of the shares of Aldebaran held by Bruno Maisonnier. Bruno Maisonnier will be appointed Special Advisor to Masayoshi Son and SoftBank Robotics, effective March 4, 2015. Bruno Maisonnier will resign from his position as CEO of Aldebaran immediately prior to becoming Special Advisor to SoftBank Group.

Bruno Maisonnier says “After the successful release of Pepper, our main common project, I sold my shares in order for Aldebaran to become a new entity which will go much farther with SoftBank, and for me to step back from operations and gain perspective: fundamental things happened in the world, political, human, and technological ones, that need to be analyzed deeply and integrated into the founding bricks of the future robotics area.  I need time to think, I have books to write, and people to meet around the world.”     

Fumihide Tomizawa will be appointed the new CEO of Aldebaran effective March 4, 2015. He says, “We wish to thank Bruno Maisonnier for the immeasurable contributions he has made to the company since he founded it in 2005. With him, Aldebaran and SoftBank jointly announced ‘Pepper’, the world's first personal robot that reads emotions, in June 2014. Guided by the SoftBank Group's corporate philosophy, ‘Information Revolution — Happiness for everyone,’ we will strengthen collaboration with SoftBank Robotics and further drive Aldebaran's growth globally.”

Fumihide Tomizawa biography

President of SoftBank Robotics Corp. (“SoftBank Robotics”) since its establishment in August 2014, Fumihide Tomizawa began his career at Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation in 1997 before joining SoftBank in 2000. He held various sales planning and business development positions before leading SoftBank Mobile Corp.’s robotics project (now SoftBank Robotics) in 2011.

About Aldebaran

Established in 2005, Aldebaran has 450 employees and is headquartered in France with offices in China, Japan and the United States. For almost 10 years, Aldebaran has been driving technology into a new world by designing humanoid robots and has become the worldwide leader in humanoid robotics. Our robots (NAO, Pepper, Romeo) are used in more than 70 countries in various fields, such as research, education, retail, care, tourism or entertainment. Aldebaran is a SoftBank Group company, holding 95% of its capital as of March 4, 2015.

Aldebaran, names and logos NAO, Romeo, Pepper and NAOqi are registered trademarks of Aldebaran in France and other countries.

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