CEO Kazuo Hirai Says Goodbye to Sony after 35 Years

Sony is losing one of their best as Kazuo Hirai (previous CEO of Sony) retires leaving Newly appointed (made last year) CEO Kenichiro Yoshida in charge of the gigantic company. But while it’s great that Sony is in a position that allows Hirari to step down and retire, we do recognise that we are truly going to miss one of the greats and the reason that Sony is what it is and delivers the games that we have come to love.

Hirai’s last day at PlayStation and Sony, as a whole was on Tuesday, June 18th. And while he may not be retiring in the conventional sense as it has been reported that he will be serving as a senior adviser and therefore;

“will continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony’s management team” – it still feels like a huge loss!

Hirai’s History

Hirai joined Sony Music in 1984 and moved to Sony Computer Entertainment (now known as Sony Interactive Entertainment) in 1995 before becoming CEO and president of the company in 2012. Hirai’s role was pivotal to the success of Sony, as his role was instrumental during the launch of the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3.

It hasn’t always been easy for Kazuo Hirai…

Without any doubt in our minds, the current success of the PS4, the exclusive games that have won numerous awards i.e; God of War, The Last of Us and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has been largely due the upbeat energy that Hirai provided to the company. Especially when it came to Sony’s crisis back in 2012, when the future was uncertain for the console giants, Hirai took charge and voiced a strategy that would change Sony for the better.

The Strategy

The time for Sony to change is now, Sony will change” – Mr. Hirai

And it did change, with the successful strategy of Hirai and just in time too! As Sony was being battered in 2012 by rivals such as; Walkman Music Players, Trinitron Televisions, Apple and other manufacturers from South Korea and China.

With plans to shift away from the company’s unprofitable television business as well as demonstrating the need to cut 10,000 jobs. Hirai was paving the way for the future. The plan was to concentrate on three businesses; mobile devices (including smartphones and tablets), camera’s and camcorders; and games.

Kazuo Hirai

As for the Gaming aspect, he also disclosed (at the time) the plan to invest in the fast-growing market for casual and downloadable games (a great investment that has clearly paid off – we think you will agree!) – His hope with this plan was to increase sales in games to 1 trillion yen ($12 Billion) by the end of March 2015.

So how much does Sony earn from Gaming now?

Since the implementation of Kazuo Hirai’s plan, Sony is bringing in the money, especially from the PS4. It is clear to see that Hirai has left the company in a good stable (if not profitable position) for Yoshida, which is quite fitting really, as Sony is going to be revealing their Next Gen; PS5.

It looks like they will still need support from Hirai and the PlayStation 4 to ensure the success of the Next Gen – so even though, Hirai will be stepping back to spend time with his family in his California home, he will still be there to provide counsel and the PS4 will continue to be positioned as the Company’s main console for the next three years;

“Will remain the engine of engagement and profitability of the next three years”

But that’s not all that the PS4 will do; it will also “provide the fertile early adopter gamer base that is critical for Next Gen success” and has an “outstanding roster of exclusive AAA games still to come.”

The future of Gaming

Sony announced at their last year’s Corporate Strategy Meeting, that they will be going in the direction of “getting closer to people.” Which then outlined three further points that will be used to generate social value and create high levels of profit;

• Reinforcing user-oriented DTC Services and creator – orientated content IP.

• Generating a sustainability high level of cash flow from branded hardware businesses.

• Maintaining Sony’s global number one position in imaging and becoming the global leader in sensing, both in the CMOS image sensor area.

Kenichiro Yoshida Statement;

“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. 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.”

While it is sad to see the legend that is Kazuo Hirai leave Sony, it is truly impressive and inspiring to reflect on his success in turning Sony around and to see his success reflect in the PlayStation 4.


Added By: 4Gamers | Date Added: 20th Jun 2019

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