Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai to step down

Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai is to step down from his role at the Japanese electronics corporation later this year. He will be replaced by chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida on April 1.

Mr Hirai (pictured) will remain as chairman.

Said Mr Hirai: “Ever since my appointment as president and CEO in April 2012, I have stated that my mission is to ensure Sony continues to be a company that provides customers with kando – to move them emotionally – and inspires and fulfils their curiosity.

“To this end, I have dedicated myself to transforming the company and enhancing its profitability, and am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current mid-range corporate plan, we are expecting to exceed our financial targets. And it excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again. As the company approaches a crucial juncture, when we will embark on a new mid-range plan, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony and also for myself to embark on a new chapter in my life.”

Commenting on his appointment as chief executive, Mr Yoshida said: “I am very grateful to Kazuo Hirai and the Sony board for their trust and confidence in appointing me as Sony president and CEO, and at the same time feel a great sense of responsibility in taking on this vitally important role.

“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 realise long-term profit growth.

“My first priority will be to finalise 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.”