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Kaz Hirai retires as chairman of Sony Corporation

Former CEO departs company after 35 years

The former CEO of Sony, Kaz Hirai, will also be stepping down as the chairman of Sony Corporation and departing the company.

Hirai first announced he would hand off the role of CEO in February of last year, but at the time said he would remain on as director and chaiman when the new company structure took effect the following April. He has continued to hold those roles since, while the role of CEO passed to Kenichiro Yoshida.

Today, in a news release, Sony announced Hirai would also retire from the role of chairman, with the new structure taking effect on June 18, 2019. Though he is technically leaving the company, Hirai will remain loosely connected to Sony and continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony management under the title of senior advisor to the company.

"Since passing the baton of CEO to Yoshida-san last April, as Chairman of Sony, I have had the opportunity to both ensure a smooth transition and provide support to Sony's management," Hirai said. "I am confident that everyone at Sony is fully aligned under Yoshida-san's strong leadership, and are ready to build an even brighter future for Sony. As such, I have decided to depart from Sony, which has been a part of my life for the past 35 years. I would like to extend my warmest gratitude to all our employees and stakeholders who have supported me throughout this journey."

For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Hirai as the board chairman at Sony. His correct title is chairman of Sony Corporation, while the board chairman is a separate role. The error has been amended above.

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Rebekah Valentine: Rebekah arrived at GamesIndustry in 2018 after four years of freelance writing and editing across multiple gaming and tech sites. When she's not recreating video game foods in a real life kitchen, she's happily imagining herself as an Animal Crossing character.
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