Sony is shuffling the deck. Chief executive Kazuo Hirai is stepping down from his role in April and will be replaced by current finance chief Kenichiro Yoshida. Hirai is staying with Sony and will instead occupy the position of chairman.
Both Yoshida and Hirai have been credited with being largely instrumental in turning Sony around. The pair refocused Sony’s business to concentrate on smartphone image sensors which has improved the bottom line. Under their efforts, the Japanese electronic giant sold off its struggling television and PC businesses, and launched the successful PlayStation 4 video game console, which has sold more than 60 million units to date. In fact, Sony said that its profits had quadrupled in the three months to December. The Japanese electronics giant reported a record profit of 351 billion yen ($3.2bn, £2.5bn) for the quarter, compared with 92.4 billion yen in the same period the year before.
"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 said.
Meanwhile, Yoshida said he wanted to build on the management foundation created under Hirai’s leadership to ‘improve Sony’s competitiveness as a global company’.