A Strong Six-Year Reign Comes to an End
Sony has announced today that CEO Kaz Hirai is stepping down on April 1st. Hirai had once been in charge of the PlayStation business before being promoted six years ago.
In a new management structure, Hirai will take on a new role — which Hirai proposed himself to the company’s Nominating Committee — as DIrector, Chairman. Taking his place will be Sony’s current CFO Kenichiro Yoshida.
“Ever since my appointment as President and CEO in April 2012, I have stated that my mission is to ensure Sony continues to be a company that provides customers with kando – to move them emotionally – and inspires and fulfills their curiosity,” Hirai said in a statement. “To this end, I have dedicated myself to transforming the company and enhancing its profitability, and am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current mid-range corporate plan, we are expecting to exceed our financial targets. And it excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again.”
“I am very grateful to Kazuo Hirai and the Sony Board for their trust and confidence in appointing me as Sony President and CEO, and at the same time feel a great sense of responsibility in taking on this vitally important role,” Yoshida said in the press release. “Together with the outstanding talent we have across the Sony Group, I will aim to build on the business foundations established by Mr. Hirai, and execute further reform measures that enhance our competitiveness as a global enterprise, and enable us to realize long-term profit growth.”
During his reign as CEO, Hirai was well known for implementing the “One Sony” strategy which saw the selling off of the Vaio laptop business, and putting a focus back on gaming and making TV’s.
Hirai was a critical figure in launching the PS2 and PS3 but it wasn’t until 2006 when he would become president and CEO of the company. His influence helped turn the PlayStation business around when the PS3 struggled in its first few years.
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