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Sony Chairman Kaz Hirai Steps Down After Years Of Service

Kazuo Hirai, the Chairman of Sony, has announced his retirement after 35 years with Sony.

Hirai will leave his role on 18 June, but he will continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony’s management team, acting as Senior Advisor for the Company. Hirai stepped down as CEO a year ago, with Kenichiro Yoshida taking the helm. Yoshida is the CFO with whom Hirai orchestrated Sony’s turnaround from a money-losing gadget maker to a profitable company focused on components and the PlayStation business.

A statement by Hirai outlined what he experienced and hopes for the company. “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.”

The rest of Hirai’s statement is below:

“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.”

Hirai started his 35-year journey with Sony starting with the music division. He eventually made it to the gaming business. He replaced Howard Stringer as CEO in 2012, during a period when Sony financial news was largely dire.

Although Sony’s gaming division is going way strong under his belt as compared to the red days of Sony, the mobile division continues to lose money. I think it’s because of Sony’s quite expensive phone prices and lack of latest market features such as a notch and double-lens camera.

Top image credit: Akio Kon/Bloomberg via Getty Images, Variety

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