On Friday, Feb. 02, 2018, the world of video game industry received the most unusual news of Sony’s CEO Kaz Hirai stepping down from his position as CEO of Sony. Everyone knows Kaz Hirai who is the man behind Playstation ever since Playstation 2 was released.
He was the one who announced Playstation 2 at the E3 and he even mentioned in his last tweet on Friday. He has been serving as a CEO of Sony for the last six years. He was very passionate about the Playstation as a brand as we can see how far Playstation has come to now and has been termed as a complete entertainment system just as Kaz Hirai had wanted.
Kaz Hirai became part of Sony in 1984 when he joined Sony’s music group. He was transferred to the Sony Computer Entertainment America in 1995 and ever since has been the main man behind Playstation. He played a vital role in the launch of Playstation 2 and Playstation 3.
He made such an impression in this department that he was ultimately made the president and CEO of this division. Coming further down the road, in 2006 when Playstation was severely losing money and profits, Kaz Hirai was made the president of Sony Computer Entertainment International.
After becoming the president of Sony Computer Entertainment International, he diverted all his attention, focus on the Playstation as a brand, and developed strategies that greatly helped Playstation get back on its feet.
He is considered as one of the most powerful executives in the entertainment industry. Under his supervision, Playstation received some of the best titles to ever come out of Sony. These include Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, SOCOM: U.S Navy SEALS, and Ratchet & Clank.
Just after two weeks of Playstation 3’s launch, Kaz Hirai was made the President of Sony Computer Entertainment. Following Playstation 3’s slow sales and complex hardware and software, he turned the game in Sony’s favor by still pushing some great AAA titles such as God of War, Shadow of the Colossus, Metal Gear Solid, and Uncharted series. His reign was supreme over the Playstation brand.
He released this official statement after announcing his stepping down as the CEO of Sony:
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.
Coming to his place as CEO of Sony is Kenichiro Yoshida who is currently the CFO, Director, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, and Executive Deputy President at Sony. He will be taking the office on April 1. He added to Kaz Hirai’s statement by saying:
Together with the outstanding talent we have across the Sony Group, I will 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 realize long-term profit growth.
His vision was to make Playstation something that was more than just a video game console and he seemed to have achieved it. Playstation 3 was a full internet console that had an internet browser, Blue Ray player, images and videos support of various formats. Even the Playstation 2 served as a secondary DVD player in its time.
The best thing about Kaz Hirai was his dedication to achieving the goals that he set for the company and himself. His determination and hard work have led Playstation to become one of the most important entertainment platforms in the whole world.
The main reason for his stepping down is that Kaz Hirai says that he is now tired of the bus schedule that has been part of his life as a CEO ever since 2006. He says he wants to spend more time with his family.
Being a CEO has seriously affected his personal life so now he wants to spend as much time with his family as he can. This comes as a reminder to us that even the biggest entrepreneurs have to sacrifice so much for becoming great visionaries. He states that he is leaving his position because now he wants to spend some time with his loved ones which have been greatly ignored during his tenure as a CEO at Sony.
He will surely be missed as CEO of Sony because he is the man behind Playstation. What we see today of Playstation, is because of Kaz Hirai. What becomes the future of Playstation now?
Kenichiro has some big shoes to fill and we hope that he continues the legacy that Kaz Hirai is leaving behind. Kaz Hirai will remain part of Sony as a Director and Chairman. For the future of Sony and Playstation, we can only hope that even after Kaz Hirai, Playstation continues to grow and deliver what the fans want.
He will officially step down on Apr. 01, 2018 and Kenichiro Yoshida will be taking up his office the same day.