Kazuo Hirai, the iconic CEO of the japanese electronics Sony leaves its functions

The flagship of the japanese electronics Sony announced on Friday the departure of the executive branch of its iconic CEO Kazuo Hirai, who nevertheless remains within the group as the chairman of the board of directors. He will be replaced by the current chief financial officer Kenichiro Yoshida, a 58-year-old, from 1 April, said Sony in a press release, shortly before the announcement of the financial results.

The decision of Mr. Hirai comes as Sony has regained a growth path and is poised to post a record net profit of nearly € 3 billion in 2017/18, after painful restructuring. Kazuo Hirai, 57 years of age, had been appointed to the position of president and CEO in 2012, replacing American Howard Stringer in a period of challenges for the group, weakened by the 2008-2009 financial crisis and stiff competition from asia. Entered in 1984 as the subsidiary of music from Sony, and had been rewarded for having stimulated the activity of video games and have recovered well in the hands of digital consumer products. As CEO, he has managed to straighten out the firm, thanks in part to the success of its home console PlayStation 4.

Mr. Hirai, often called Kaz by his professional circles, has also undergone a sort of drastic in the activities, with the transfer of the divisision of the PC “Vaio” batteries or rechargeable lithium-ion battery and various other restructuring measures, including the tightening of the lines of products (TV, smartphones, cameras, etc…) to the middle and top of the range. Founded in 1946, Sony, which has 128.000 employees in the world, and is expected during this fiscal year (which ends end of march) a turnover of 8,500 billion yen (nearly $ 65 billion).

A record net profit

Sony saw its net profit increase by more than 10 in the first nine months of its fiscal year 2017/18, and has again raised its annual forecasts. During the period from April to December, net profit amounted to 507,6 billion yen (3.7 billion euros), compared to 45,6 billion yen a year earlier. On the whole of the year ended at the end of march, it now aims for a record net profit of 480 billion yen, instead of 380 billion expected at the end of October.

(with AFP)

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