Sony CEO Kaz Hirai will be stepping down in April, as first reported by The Verge. Kazuo Hirai will be replaced by current CFO Kenichiro Yoshida, who will assume the role of CEO at the start of the financial year. Kazuo Hirai has been CEO of Sony since April 1st, 2012. He will not be leaving the company entirely however, instead he will be taking up a role as Sony Chairman.
Kenichiro Yoshida and Kazuo Hirai worked together over the last few years to help rebalance the company and keep them in the black. They oversaw major restructuring cuts, such as the VAOI PC division and placed an increasing emphasis on the success of PlayStation.
CEO Kaz Hirai made this statement:
“Mr. Yoshida combines a deeply strategic mindset with a relentless determination to achieve defined targets, and the ability to take a global viewpoint. I believe he possesses the breadth of experience and perspective, as well as the unwavering leadership qualities required to manage Sony’s diverse array of businesses, and as such is the ideal person to drive the company forward into the future. As Chairman, I will of course offer my full support to Mr. Yoshida and the new management team, and do all I can to facilitate a smooth transition and ensure their future success.”
This is major shift for the company’s leadership and it will be very interesting to see how Yoshida directs things in the coming months. Regardless, considering how far Sony and PlayStation have come in the last few years, this is a major note for Kazuo Hirai to end his role on.