Sony’s CEO Kazuo Hirai is to step down from his role. Effective April 1st the new CEO will be the company’s current CFO, Kenichiro Yoshida. Hirai will become the company’s Chairman.
A statement from Hirai says: “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.”
Hirai was appointed to Sony in 2012 when the company’s performance was under extreme pressure. He took over from (now Sir) Howard Stringer. Hirai closed divisions, sold off some assets and cut jobs in order to return the overall business to profitability.
The local opinion is that Yoshida is a safe pair of hands, as he worked alongside Hirai during the recent restructuring operation and was a key supporter of the financial changes.
“I would like to take over the management foundation that was built under Hirai’s leadership, and to improve Sony’s competitiveness as a global company,” Yoshida said in a statement.