Kazuo Hirai Announces His Retirement from Sony after 35 Years
Almost a year after he announced he’d be stepping down as CEO, Kazuo Hirai has now made the decision to retire after 35 years at Sony. He will officially leave his current role as chairman on June 18, 2019 but he will occasionally pop back in to serve as a senior advisor when needed.
“Hirai-san and I have been working on management reforms together since December 2013,” says Sony CEO, Kenichiro Yoshida 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.”
Hirai took up the role of CEO in 2012, and sparked a beacon of hope during a time of adversity in the company. His efforts to restructure and refocus their approach were really what brought Sony back to profitability. Another move he made as CEO was hiring Yoshida to act as his strategy chief. The two have worked hand and hand since then, and Hirai has undoubtedly passed on some sage wisdom for the current CEO.
"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."
Prior to assuming his role as CEO, Hirai’s talents spanned many facets of the company including the music division, overseas marketing, and the gaming business. His efforts in Sony’s video game unit played a vital role in the success of PlayStation in 1995. Today, the PlayStation 4 stands as the best-selling video game console of the current generation.