Kazuo Hirai, is stepping down as CEO after nearly 35 years at the pioneering electronics company. He’ll be replaced by CFO Kenichiro Yoshida, effective April 1.
Sony Corp. announced the new management structure late Thursday in advance of its fourth quarter 2017 earnings report early Friday. Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony Corp.’s chief financial officer, will take over as president-CEO as of April 1.
Sources said Hirai made the decision to change roles in part because he’s worn down from the travel schedule he’s maintained during the past six years as CEO. He aims to spend more time with his family at his home in Northern California. Sources said Hirai has indicated to insiders he intends to remain involved with Sony’s U.S.-based entertainment businesses in his new chairman role.
The fake Kazuo announced the retirement on his Twitter account as well.
I started this Twitter account 7 years ago today. I am celebrating it by announcing my retirement as CEO https://t.co/RnXDCJhuIi
— CEO Kaz Hirai (@KazHiraiCEO) February 2, 2018
As Hirai was promoted to run Sony, House moved up to head the worldwide PlayStation business and Tretton was in charge of the U.S. Harrison went on to lead Sony’s worldwide game studios, and left in 2008. He was recently hired as vice president and general manager of an unnamed division at Google. Tretton left in 2014, and House announced his departure at the close of 2017.
Over the years, he had many memorable moments, like when he declared the “console wars are over” in the early 2000s, and when he bowed low and took responsibility for Sony’s failure to protect gamers from a devastating cyberattack on the PlayStation Network in 2011. His struggle to make Sony profitable in the past few years was perhaps his biggest challenge.