After a long and successful six-year reign, Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai announced his resignation as CEO of Sony, and will officially step down this March 2018.
Hirai names current Sony Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Kenichiro Yoshida as his replacement for the CEO position. Yoshida’s position will then be filled by Mobile Head and Chief Strategy Officer Hiroki Totoki. However, Kaz Hirai will still be within Sony as the Chairman and part of the Board of Directors.
Hirai and Yoshida have been integral to Sony’s financial growth in the past few years, most notably with the selling-off of the VAIO PC division, and the “One Sony” streamlining initiative. In a statement, Hirai has this to say about Yoshida:
“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.”
Yoshida also released this statement:
“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. 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.”
Upon Hirai’s exit as CEO, Sony is expected to report a massive profit of more than 600 billion Yen.