Kaz Hirai steps down as Sony CEO

Sony is undergoing a power transition as its CEO, Kaz Hirai, will step down from his role this April.

Interestingly, he proposed the management transition to the Sony Nominating Committee and his successor is company executive Kenichiro Yoshida.

This news doesn’t mean Hirai will be leaving Sony behind and moving onto pastures anew. Currently, he holds numerous positions within Sony, including director, representative corporate executive officer, president and chief executive office. Come 1 April, when the Japanese financial year starts over, he’ll move down to simply being Sony’s director and chairman.

His replacement, Yoshida, also holds numerous titles within Sony, and following the change will fill all the roles Hirai previously held.

“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 fulfils their curiosity,” Hirai said in a statement on his planned position change.

“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.”

When Hirai moved from Sony Interactive Entertainment into the role of acting CEO in 2012, Sony was in a difficult place. The PlayStation 3 had managed to improve its standing from its overpriced and shaky launch, but the company as a whole was sliding towards financial trouble. Hirai cut back on its laptop and computer business, streamlined its TV line and invested a lot of time and effort into both its component and PlayStation businesses and managed to turn around Sony’s fortunes.

While Hirai won’t be departing Sony, it’s still sad to see the former head of SIE step down from leading Sony.

At least we’ll always have these memories of his passion for the PSP…

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