Sony Chairman Hirai Kazuo Announces Retirement


Hirai Kazuo

Sony Chairman Hirai Kazuo announced that he will retire on June 18 this year, ending his 35-year career at Sony, and will continue to serve as a senior consultant for Sony.

More than a year ago, Hirai Kazuo resigned as the CEO of Sony and transferred the role to Chief Financial Officer Yoshida Kenichi, who turned Sony from a loss-making manufacturer into a profitable company focused on components and PlayStation business.

‘Since December 2013, Hirai Kazuo and I have been working together on management reform,’ Yoshida Ken said in a statement. ‘While he will be retiring from both Chairman and our Board of Directors, we look forward to his continuing high-level support to Sony’s management that encompasses a breadth of diverse businesses.’

In a statement, Hirai said, ‘Since passing the baton of CEO to Yoshida-san last April, as Chairman of Sony, I have had the opportunity to both ensure a smooth transition and provide support to Sony’s management. I am confident that everyone at Sony is fully aligned under Yoshida-san’s strong leadership, and are ready to build an even brighter future for Sony. As such, I have decided to depart from Sony, which has been a part of my life for the past 35 years. I would like to extend my warmest gratitude to all our employees and stakeholders who have supported me throughout this journey.’

Kazuo Hirai joined the Sony Music Department in 1984 and later moved to the United States to lead the brand’s overseas marketing. He moved to Sony Computer Entertainment in 1995, just before the launch of the first PlayStation, and then took over the head of the game business in 2006 by Ken Kutaragi. In 2012, he replaced Howard Stringer as CEO of Sony and led the ‘One Sony’ program, which simplifies the company’s operations.

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