Kaz Hirai steps down as Sony CEO

The six-year tenure of Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai as Sony’s CEO will come to an end on April 1, the company announced today. After this date, Hirai will move into the role of chairman and current CFO Kenichiro Yoshida will become head of the company.

Hirai is credited with turning the failing fortunes of Sony around when he took over in 2012, opting to funnel resources into the most successful parts of the company such as PlayStation while cutting back branches like VAIO PC. After years of losses, the coffers of Sony began to grow under Hirai’s leadership.

‘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,’ Hirai said in a statement regarding his stepping down. ‘And it excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again.’

He pledged to give his ‘full support’ to Yoshida as he steps into the role of CEO, saying: ‘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.’

Sony Corporation has forecasted a record operating profit of 630 billion yen for the fiscal year ending 31 March–evidence enough of Hirai’s impact on one of the world’s biggest technology companies.