Current CFO Kenichiro Yoshida will take over on April 1, as Hirai becomes chairman

Current CEO of Sony Corporation Kazuo Hirai has decided to step down to become chairman of the company at the beginning of the next financial year. From April 1st Hirai will be replaced by current CFO Kenichiro Yoshida. The pair worked closely together and Hirai’s proposal for Yoshida to take over leadership was approved by the Sony board of directors with seemingly no qualms.

Hirai spent a while as CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (then Sony Computer Entertainment) and his rise to CEO of Sony Corp as a whole is definitely a factor in the success of the PlayStation brand in the subsequent years. His faith in (and affection for) Yoshida suggests a strong future for the company, and the PlayStation’s part within it.

“My successor, Kenichiro Yoshida, has supported me closely since returning to Sony in December 2013, contributing extensively beyond his remit as CFO and acting as valuable confidant and business partner, as we took on the challenge of transforming Sony together,” Hirai says in a press release. “Mr. Yoshida combines a deeply strategic mindset with a relentless determination to achieve defined targets, and the ability to take a global viewpoint.

“I believe he 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 Chairman, I will of course offer my full support to Mr. Yoshida and the new management team, and do all I can to facilitate a smooth transition and ensure their future success.”

“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,” Yoshida says. “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 realize 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.”