Count it as an end of the era, boys. This is it. The old Sony you knew and love is short of being dead and buried as the new guard steps in with new policies (some of which we’ve already seen employed in the last year), as the legend becomes little more than a faded memory we can only reminiscence over in a past tense. Why? Because Kaz Hirai is retiring on June 18th, 2019 later this year.
The announcement was rolled out over on the official Sony website, where it was announced that Kazuo Hirai will retire as Chairman over Sony Corporation after putting in a 35 year tenure with the company dating back the 1980s.
Hirai issued a statement on the corporate press release, saying…
“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. 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 is referring to Kenichiro Yoshida, who was appointed to Chief Executive Officer over Sony Corporation in April of 2018.
It was pretty obvious that the writing was on the wall at that point, but now it’s been made official. According to the press release even though Hirai will officially retire on June 18th, 2019, he will still provide counsel as a senior advisor for the company at the behest of Sony’s management team.
Now this could mean that the company is about to make some drastic changes in the near future, or everything is about to implode on itself.
Given the current direction of things it’s impossible to tell what’s going to happen. For sure, though, a lot of PlayStation fans are rightly peeved at the intrusive PS4 censorship policies that were implemented under John Kodera’s watch, who is the former SIE president. He’s now being replaced by Jim Ryan, the guy who ragged on backwards compatibility and some of the most historically popular games in the history of the PlayStation brand.
With all of these rapid leadership changes I’m just curious to see what’s to become of Sony, especially as they’ve pulled out of E3, cancelled the 2018 PlayStation Experience, and seem to be making a lot of decisions that could only best be described as anti-gamer and anti-developer. So we’ll see how this all plays out once the changes settle into place later this year.
(Thanks for the news tip Omar Garcia)