Sony Corp. has a new CEO after announcing on Friday that Kazui Hirai will step down, handing the reins of the company to Kenichiro Yoshida. The change in leadership is effective April 1.
Hirai will officially become Director and Chairman, with his new role said to be mainly advisory. Yoshida is the company’s chief financial officer.
“The change in helm, while a major surprise, is expected to go down well with investors who have been pleased with Yoshida’s no-nonsense approach to restructuring after he became CFO in 2014,” Reuters notes. “Once a market leader in consumer electronics, the maker of the Walkman and Trinitron TV fell behind the likes of Apple in innovation after the release of the iPod in 2001 and then the iPhone in 2007. It then also lost out to more nimble Asian rivals in price competition.”
The Reuters report adds: “Hirai and Yoshida together streamlined Sony’s unprofitable electronics businesses and then capitalized on the spread of smartphones with image sensors.”
Sony posted a press release officially announcing the change in leadership, which can be seen by clicking here.