Kaz Hirai prepares to retire from Sony in June


Kaz Hirai, who stepped down as President and CEO of Sony Corporation in February 2018 after six years at the helm, will retire from his role as Chairman on June 18, 2019.

The announcement was made in a press release, which revealed that Hirai won’t entirely cut all ties with Sony: “While Kazuo Hirai will retire as Chairman, Sony Corporation, on June 18, 2019, he will continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony`s management team, acting as Senior Advisor for the Company.”

Hirai was succeeded as President and CEO of Sony Corporation by Kenichiro Yoshida, who said: “Hirai-san and I have been working on management reforms together since December 2013. 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.” Hirai added: “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 was appointed President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment – the company’s name at the time for its PlayStation division – in November 2006, shortly after the PlayStation 3’s launch, replacing “father of the PlayStation” Ken Kutaragi. In 2011, he was replaced in that role by Andrew House – after the pair had defined the framework of the PlayStation 4, which would revive Sony’s profitability in the games market after the loss-making, over-engineered PlayStation 3.

In 2012, he was appointed President and CEO of Sony Corporation – the top job in the company overseeing Sony’s consumer electronics, music and film divisions, along with its games division. In February 2019, Brit Jim Ryan was appointed President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (which is what the PlayStation side of the business is now called), replacing John Kodera. For more general Sony information, head to the company’s website.