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Sony CEO Kaz Hirai Steps Down, Succeeded By Director Kenichiro Yoshida

After six years acting as Sony’s CEO, Kazuo Hirai is stepping down from his post. Taking his place is Director Kenichiro Yoshida. Mr. Hirai proposed the management transition himself to the Sony Nominating Committee, and was later approved by the Sony Board of Directors at a Board meeting.

The new transition will officially come into effect on April 1st 2018, the same date Sony will take on their next mid-range corporate plan under Mr. Yoshida’s management.

Kenichiro Yoshida is of course not to be confused with another known Sony executive, Sony’s Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida.

This follows other changes in Sony’s management. Earlier this month we saw Jim Ryan promoted to Deputy President of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE).

Sony’s new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida has some important words to share following his promotion, and shows his understanding of the responsibility he now holds; “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. 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.”

Mr Yoshida continues; “My first priority will be to finalize 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. This is a hugely exciting time at Sony as we look to our future, and together with my management team I intend to determine the best path for us to move forward, and devote my full effort to creating a better Sony that captures the imagination of our many stakeholders around the world.”

Kazuo Hirai is a legendary businessman and shares some heartfelt words on his time with Sony; “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. 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. 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.”

When speaking of Kenichiro Yoshia, Mr. Hirai stated; “My successor, Kenichiro Yoshida, has supported me closely since returning to Sony in December 2013 , contributing extensively beyond his remit as CFO and acting as valuable confidant and business partner, as we took on the challenge of transforming Sony together. 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.”

VRGE LE docking station - PlayStation VR

For the full announcement take a look at Sony’s site. As stated by Mr. Yoshida, it’s an incredibly exciting time for Sony. PlayStation VR alone is looking to have great success this year, with up to 280 titles being available for it in 2018. Let us know your opinions on the new Sony changes in the comments below, and for all of the latest news, stay on VRFocus.