Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai is set to resign his position at the Japanese tech giant this spring, having decided on such a move as part of a management restructuring effort to continue strengthening the company’s business that he helped rejuvenate over the course of the last six years. Mr. Hirai pointed to the firm’s record-breaking results posted in previous quarters as an indicator that this is a suitable opportunity for him to allow Sony to transition to a new leadership that will continue ensuring its sustainable future and long-term success going forward, adding that he’s extremely pleased with the recent prevalence of comments that “Sony is back again.”
Mr. Hirai will be replaced by Kenichiro Yoshida, Sony’s Chief Financial Officer who returned to the Tokyo, Japan-based tech giant in late 2013 and helped orchestrate the company’s turnaround together with the departing CEO. The change will officially take place on April 1, the beginning of Sony’s 2018 fiscal year, with Mr. Hirai being set to accept the position of the Chairman of the board. The firm is planning to enter its next fiscal year with a new mid-range corporate plan that will largely be focused on maintaining Sony’s current momentum generated through major cost-cutting efforts and increased commitment to core businesses such as entertainment and imaging. While the firm’s smartphone operations are still shrinking, its management has already been describing the handset segment as a hopeless battle that it’s only leading so as to ensure it’s ready for whatever the next big thing based on mobile technologies ends up being. The 57-year-old himself proposed to resign and be replaced by the year older CFO, with that plan recently being approved by the Sony Nominating Committee.
The announcement came in the run-up to the publication of Sony’s consolidated financial report for the fourth quarter of the 2017 calendar year, i.e. third quarter of its current fiscal year, which revealed a record quarterly revenue and provided yet another strong signal that Sony is prepared to post the most profitable fiscal year in its 72-year history. The tech giant nearly quadrupled its profit over the three-month period ending December 31, having ended the quarter over $3.1 billion in the black.