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Kaz Hirai steps down as president and CEO of Sony Corp.

Hirai hands leadership to CFO Kenichiro Yoshida after six years at the helm

Kaz Hirai has stepped down as president and CEO of Sony Corporation after six years at the head of the company.

The new president and CEO will be Kenichiro Yoshida, whose titles at Sony include executive deputy president and chief financial officer. Hirai will remain at the company as director and chairman, with the new structure taking effect on April 1, 2018.

According to Sony, the management transition was proposed by Hirai himself, who offered the following statement on his decision to hand over leadership to Yoshida:

"Ever since my appointment as President and CEO in April 2012, I have stated that my mission is to ensure Sony continues to be a company that provides customers with kando - to move them emotionally - and inspires and fulfills their curiosity.

"To this end, I have dedicated myself to transforming the company and enhancing its profitability, and am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current mid-range corporate plan, we are expecting to exceed our financial targets. And it excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again."

Sony will soon embark on a "new mid-range plan", one that will be led by Yoshida as CEO, who detailed his 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 realise long-term profit growth."

Hirai took the president and CEO roles six years ago, after a long and successful tenure leading the PlayStation business. With Hirai at the top, games has become the biggest driver of success for Sony Corp., largely due to the commanding lead of the PlayStation 4 in the current console generation.

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