Sony’s Former CEO and Chairman of the Board Kazuo Hirai, Retiring

Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s former CEO and Chairman of the Board is retiring after serving with the company for 35 years.  

Sony Corporation, a Japanese multinational conglomerate company is 

headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics , smartphones, film and movies, television and home theaters, DVD players, boom boxes and more as well as cameras and PlayStation gaming, music entertainment and financial and professional services. The company is also heavy into research and development and AI technology.

Sony has come a long day since its founding on May 7, 1946, in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, Japan by Akio Morita, Masaru Ibuka.  According to Sony’s website Sony’s purpose is to fill the world with emotion, through the power of creativity and technology. The company believes in creating of the very best by gathering and using diverse and varying viewpoints.  Sony believes in earning the trust for the Sony brand from consumers through ethical and responsible conduct. while fulfilling their stakeholder responsibilities through disciplined business practices.

According to Wikipedia, “the name “Sony” was chosen for the brand as a mix of two words: one was the Latin word “sonus”, which is the root of sonic and sound, and the other was “sonny”, a common slang term used in 1950s America to call a young boy.[10] In 1950s Japan, “sonny boys” was a loan word in Japanese, which connoted smart and presentable young men, which Sony founders Morita and Ibuka considered themselves to be.” And hence the the name Sony came into being in 1958.

Over the following years Sony enjoyed success but the company faced continued struggles in the mid- to late-2000s. In 2005, Sir Howard Stringer took over as president and CEO becoming the first foreigner to run a major Japanese electronics firm.

Hirai started with the company in 1984 and kept rising through the ranks of the company and in 2012 became its CEO replacing Sir Howard Stringer.  

Hirai spearheaded the electronics giant’s turnaround in recent years by focusing deeper on products and streamlining the company’s diversified structure by downsizing weaker divisions of the company.  As Sony’s prior head of gaming, once managing the PlayStation division, Hirai made it a key part of the company’s revival.

In April of 2018, Hirai transitioned from CEO to become the chairman of the board and Kenichiro Yoshidawho had been Sony’s CFO became its current CEO. Between 2012 and 2018 Hirai and Yoshida worked to turn Sony from a loss-making business into a profitable one.

As Hirai steps down from his position of chairman of the board of Sony Corporation to retire, Shuzo Sumi will take over as chairman. Sumiis also chairman of Tokio Marine Holdings.

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