Published: Sat, February 03, 2018
IT | By Lester Massey

Kaz Hirai stepping down as Sony's CEO

Kaz Hirai stepping down as Sony's CEO

His whole group of game leaders was a unique and smart bunch, and with Hirai's stepping down, it's a dawn of a new post-PlayStation era at Sony. Thankfully, the iconic technology brand still looks like a solid bet for investors.

PlayStation overlord and Riiiidge Racer meme generator Kaz Hirai has announced he will be stepping down from his role as Sony CEO this year. Yoshida will then be taking over at the start of the next financial year.

Gaming continues to be Sony's single most lucrative consumer division, with the three months from October to December seeing profits of £544 million, up from £320 million at the same time a year ago.

The duo have worked closely over the past few years, during which time they greatly improved Sony's finances by aiming to bolster its gaming, phone and component divisions while eliminating less successful ones, like the Vaio line of laptops.

Hirai will retire as CEO with Sony in a much better state than when he took over, after turning its businesses around under his One Sony strategy.

As soon as the current CEO Kaz Hirai is replaced he will become the chairman of the company.

Yoshida will replace Hirai at the helm of the firm, while the latter will still remain at Sony as its chair.

"It excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again". As the company moves to other goals beyond profitability, Hirai said it is an ideal time to pass on the baton.

"Mr. Yoshida combines a deeply strategic mindset with a relentless determination to achieve defined targets, and the ability to take a global viewpoint", Hirai said about his successor.

Worse still, Sony expects to conclude the fiscal year with a total of 14 million smartphone unit sales, down from 14.6 mil between April 2016 and March 2017, as well as an excessively optimistic target of 15.5 million units set this past October.

Subsidiary Sony Pictures Entertainment, which houses the TV and film divisions, has had a rockier time during his tenure, with the email hack of 2015-16 preceeding the departures of both Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal, and a write-down of almost US$1 billion coming after poor performance. That was Sony's highest third-quarter profit ever and far above a consensus estimate of 240.8 billion yen from 10 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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