Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai, the Chairman for Sony Corporation, a Japanese multinational conglomerate has decided to step down. According to the retirement announcement, Hirai will step down from his role as the chairman of the company on 18 June 2019. This will mark an end to his 35-year long career with the Japanese company but he will still be associated with the company as a “senior advisor”. This move comes just about a year after Hirai decided to step down from his role as the CEO and President of the company.
Current President and CEO of Sony, Kenichiro Yoshida shared a statement in response to the retirement announcement. Yoshida stated, “Hirai-san and I have been working on management reforms together since December 2013. While he will be retiring from both Chairman and our Board of Directors, we look forward to his continuing high-level support to Sony’s management that encompasses a breadth of diverse businesses.” According to the report by The Verge, Hirai also issued a statement adding, “Since passing the baton of CEO to Yoshida-san last April, as Chairman of Sony, I have had the opportunity to both ensure a smooth transition and provide support to Sony’s management.”
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His statement went on to add, “I am confident that everyone at Sony is fully aligned under Yoshida-san’s strong leadership, and are ready to build an even brighter future for Sony. As such, I have decided to depart from Sony, which has been a part of my life for the past 35 years.” Hirai also thanked Sony employees in this statement stating, “I would like to extend my warmest gratitude to all our employees and stakeholders who have supported me throughout this journey.”
For some context, Hirai joined the music division of Sony back in 1984 and then later moved to Sony Computer Entertainment in1995. His move to the Sony Computer Entertainment came right before the company announced the first Sony PlayStation. He later went ahead to lead the gaming business for Sony in 2006. This propelled him to be known as one of the most powerful industry execs in the entertainment industry according to Entertainment Weekly.