Back in February 2018, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai announced that he would be stepping down and transitioning to a director-chairman role. Then in March of this year, the executive confirmed his retirement, leaving then-CFO Kenichiro Yoshida in charge of the company. Hirai’s last day at PlayStation and Sony as a whole was Tuesday, June 18. It was previously reported that he will serve as senior advisor and “will continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony’s management team.”
Hirai joined Sony Music in 1984 and moved to Sony Computer Entertainment (now Sony Interactive Entertainment) in 1995 before becoming CEO and president of the company in 2012. At the time of his promotion, Hirai said his mission was “to ensure Sony continues to be a company that provides customers with kando–to move them emotionally–and inspires and fulfills their curiosity.” Games like God of War, The Last of Us, and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End–among many others–are some recent examples that have instilled Hirai’s vision of kando.
With Hirai heading off to live his best life, he’s entrusting Sony to the newly-appointed Yoshida, who assumed the position of CEO and president on April 1, 2018. Speaking of his successor, Hirai said Yoshida “possesses the breadth of experience and perspective, as well as the unwavering leadership qualities required to manage Sony’s diverse array of businesses, and as such is the ideal person to drive the company forward into the future.” As the baton was passed, Yoshida said he aims “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 realize long-term profit growth.”
Hirai’s decision to step down was partly because he was “worn down from the travel schedule he’s maintained during the past six years as CEO,” a Variety source said. Now that he’s finally able to wind down after being reportedly worn down, Hirai plans to spend more time with his family in his California home.