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Kaz Hirai
Kaz Hirai

Kaz Hirai is Stepping Down as Sony CEO

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Kaz Hirai is Stepping Down as Sony CEO

SONY chief Kaz Hirai will hand the CEO reins of the Japanese big company to his top right hand as he transitions to a new role as chairman.

Hirai proposed the change to the Sony Nominating Committee, which was approved by the Sony Board of Directors at a Board meeting held Thursday. Yoshida will become CEO on April 1st, exactly six year’s after Hirai took on the role.

“As the company approaches a crucial juncture, when we will embark on a new mid-range plan, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony and also for myself to embark on a new chapter in my life,” Hirai said in a prepared statement.

Hirai start a job in Sony at the ’80s by his love of video games. After a more than decade long stint at the company’s music division, he joined Sony Computer Entertainment America in 1995. In 2006, Hirai replaced Ken Kutaragi, the father of the PlayStation, as president of Sony Computer Entertainment. Hirai was appointed president and chief executive officer of Sony effective April 1, 2012.

“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,” he said.

“My first priority will be to finalise our next mid-range corporate plan starting in April, together with our immediate business plan for the fiscal year 2018, and then move ahead swiftly with implementation.”

The past few years haven’t been so great for Sony, which could explain the shift in management. The last quarter earnings were rather disappointing, with the firm seeing a half-billion dollar write-down. According to its results, the company saw a 54 percent on-year decline in operating income to 92.4 billion yen in the October-December quarter.

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