Sony Corporation chairman Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai, the former head of the company’s PlayStation business, is retiring. Hirai will step down as chairman on June 18, bringing his 35-year career at Sony to a close.
In a statement, Sony said Hirai will “continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony’s management team, acting as Senior Advisor for the Company.”
Hirai was named chairman in 2018, after stepping down as president and CEO of Sony in April.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
Hirai, 58, joined CBS/Sony Inc. (later Sony Music Entertainment Japan) in 1984, where he worked in the marketing of international music in Japan. He joined Sony Computer Entertainment America, the PlayStation division, in 1995 and, four years later, was appointed president and chief operating officer of SCEA. In 2006, he took over Sony’s video game business worldwide.
He later became president of the Networked Products and Services Group at Sony Corporation, and in 2011, assumed responsibility for all of Sony’s consumer electronics products and services, and its global software, sales and marketing, and design platforms.