Amin cited personal reasons for his departure in a LinkedIn post 

The new management structure – effective from yesterday – sees Mickey Mikitani (group chairman and founder) appointed CEO and chairman of Rakuten Symphony. 

The firm explain in a statement issued yesterday that 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 maximising group synergies”. 

Sharad Sriwastawa (currently CTO of Rakuten Mobile) was appointed acting president of Rakuten Symphony, while also taking on the role of co-CEO at Rakuten Mobile and retaining the position of CTO. Kazuhiro Suzuki will continue as co-CEO. 

According to the company, Sriwastawa 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”. 

Amin first joined Rakuten in 2018, starting out as CTO of Rakuten Mobile. He served as CEO of Rakuten Symphony from mid-2021, and co-CEO of Rakuten Mobile from April last year. 

Amin has long been a strong advocate for the Open RAN, describing the technology as the foundation for the introduction of cloud native, automated network operations. As an executive at Rakuten Mobile, he oversaw the rollout of the world’s first nationwide Open RAN-based mobile network, becoming something of a poster boy for the emerging technology. 

Rakuten’s commitment to Open RAN was further demonstrated with the company’s purchase of virtualised RAN provider Altiostar and its cloud management software provider, which then combined to form Rakuten Symphony. Despite this legacy, Daryl Schoolar, director and analyst at Recon Analytics, noted that “it is very unusual for a company that starts out as a service provider to pivot to being a technology vendor. It is in this area Tareq appears to have limited success. It will be interesting to watch what happens to Symphony with Tareq gone.” 

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