Tokyo, Japan—Sony announced a new executive structure going into 2018. Kenichiro Yoshida, currently Sony Corporation’s director, representative corporate executive officer, executive deputy president and chief financial officer, was appointed director, representative corporate executive officer, president and also chief executive officer, effective April 1, 2018.
In addition, Kazuo Hirai, currently director, representative corporate executive officer, president and chief executive officer, will become director, chairman, also effective April 1, 2018. Moreover, the management transition was approved by Sony’s board of directors on February 2, 2018.
Following this realignment, Sony will embark on its next midrange corporate plan starting April 1 2018, under a new management structure led by 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,” said Kazuo Hirai.
“To this end, I have dedicated myself to transforming the company as well as enhancing its profitability. I am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current midrange corporate plan, we are expecting to exceed our financial targets. It also excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again. As the company approaches a crucial juncture, when we will embark on a new midrange plan, I consider this to be the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony and also for myself to embark on a new chapter in my life.
“My successor, Kenichiro Yoshida, has supported me closely since returning to Sony in December 2013. He contributed extensively beyond his remit as CFO and acted as valuable confidant and business partner, as we took on the challenge of transforming Sony together. Mr. Yoshida combines a deeply strategic mindset with a relentless determination to achieve defined targets, and the ability to take a global viewpoint. I believe he possesses the breadth of experience and perspective, as well as the unwavering leadership qualities required to manage Sony’s diverse array of businesses, and as such is the ideal person to drive the company forward into the future.
“As chairman, I will of course offer my full support to Mr. Yoshida and the new management team, and do all I can to facilitate a smooth transition and ensure their future success.”
Kenichiro Yoshida commented: “I am very grateful to Kazuo Hirai and the Sony board for their trust and confidence in appointing me as Sony president and CEO. At the same time I feel a great sense of responsibility in taking on this vitally important role. 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.
“My first priority will be to finalize our next midrange corporate plan starting in April, together with our immediate business plan for the fiscal year 2018, and then move ahead swiftly with implementation. This is a hugely exciting time at Sony, as we look to our future. And together with my management team, I intend to determine the best path for us to move forward, and devote my full effort to creating a better Sony that captures the imagination of our many stakeholders around the world.”
Osamu Nagayama, chairman of the board and chair of the nominating committee, added: “The board is grateful to Kazuo Hirai for his outstanding contribution over the past six years, taking leadership of the company amidst an extremely challenging business environment in 2012 and also making great progress in revitalizing Sony’s business. “Given these achievements, we were initially surprised by his proposal to step down from the role of president and CEO. But over time and following extensive further discussions, we ultimately reached a decision to respect his wishes. The nominating committee had been regularly discussing potential management succession plans. And after receiving the proposal from Mr. Hirai, we engaged in renewed discussion, leading to the conclusion that Mr. Yoshida would be the ideal candidate to succeed Mr. Hirai as Sony president and CEO, and lead Sony into the future.”
Changes in Executive Structure as of April 1, 2018
The following changes to titles or areas of responsibility will be put into effect on April 1.
• Kazuo Hirai: New—director; chairman. Current—director, representative corporate executive officer; president; chief executive officer
• Kenichiro Yoshida: New—director, representative corporate executive officer; president; chief executive officer. Current—director, representative corporate executive officer; executive deputy president; chief financial officer
• Hiroki Totoki: New—representative corporate executive officer, executive vice president; chief financial officer. Current—corporate executive officer, executive vice president; chief strategy officer; officer in charge of Mobile Communications Business; president and also CEO, Sony Mobile Communications Inc.; president as well as representative director, Sony Network Communications Inc.
• Shigeki Ishizuka: New—officer in charge of Mobile Communications Business, Storage Media Business. Current—corporate executive officer, executive vice president; officer in charge of Imaging Products & Solutions Business; representative director as well as president, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc.
• Ichiro Takagi: New—officer in charge of Manufacturing, Logistics, Procurement. Current—corporate executive officer, executive vice president; officer in charge of Home Entertainment & Sound Business, Consumer AV Sales & Marketing; representative director as well as president, Sony Visual Products Inc.; representative director and president, Sony Video & Sound Products Inc.
• Toru Katsumoto: New—corporate executive officer, executive vice president; officer in charge of R&D Platform. Continues as—representative director and also deputy president, Sony Imaging Products & Solutions Inc.; president of Professional Products Group; president of Medical Business Group.
Moreover, the following executives are scheduled to retire as of the Sony annual shareholders’ meeting scheduled for June 2018.
• Tomoyuki Suzuki: corporate executive officer, executive deputy president; officer in charge of R&D Platform and Storage Media Business
• Masashi Imamura: corporate executive officer, executive vice president; officer in charge of Manufacturing, Logistics, Procurement, Quality and Environment, Engineering Platform. sony.com