Sony has announced that their current CEO, Kaz Hirai, will be stepping down from the company in April 2018. He will then be appointed as a chairman of the company, while chief financial officer Kenchiro Yoshida will be replacing Hirai as CEO. This news follows after Sony Interactive Entertainment's (PlayStation) CEO Andrew House stepped down at the end of last year, as well. Though this will certainly shake things up at Sony/PlayStation, Hirai states that Yoshida is more than able to succeed him at the company, and that his transition into CEO will be smooth.
The Board is grateful to Kazuo Hirai for his outstanding contribution over the past six years, taking leadership of the company amidst an extremely challenging business environment in 2012, and making great progress in revitalizing Sony’s business. Given these achievements, we were initially surprised by his proposal to step down from the role of President and CEO, but over time and following extensive further discussions we ultimately reached a decision to respect his wishes. The Nominating Committee had been regularly discussing potential management succession plans, and after receiving the proposal from Mr. Hirai, we engaged in renewed discussion, leading to the conclusion that Mr. Yoshida would be the ideal candidate to succeed Mr. Hirai as Sony President and CEO, and lead Sony into the future. The Board also unanimously supported this proposal. Together with Mr. Hirai, the Board will offer their full support to Mr. Yoshida and his new management team, while also closely observing their progress from a shareholder perspective.
For those that might not know who Kaz Hirai is, some may remember him from PlayStation's E3 2006 conference, where many jokes spawned from his awkward on-stage line of "Riiiiidge Racer".