Former Sony And PlayStation Exec Kaz Hirai Is Retiring

Hirai will continue to advise the company, however.

12 Comments

In February it was announced that Kaz Hirai, who led the PlayStation business before being promoted to CEO of Sony, would step down and transition to the role of director, chairman. Now, Sony has announced that Hirai will be retiring from those roles effective June 18. Hirai will serve as senior advisor for the company and "will continue to provide counsel as requested by Sony's management team."

In a statement, Hirai lent his support to Kenichiro Yoshida, who replaced him as CEO of Sony on April 1. "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."

Yoshida added: "Hirai-san and I have been working on management reforms together since December 2013. While he will be retiring from both Chairman and our Board of Directors, we look forward to his continuing high-level support to Sony's management that encompasses a breadth of diverse businesses."

Hirai was instrumental in launching the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3, and went on to become CEO and president of Sony. In February, the PlayStation business had a management reshuffle, with Jim Ryan being appointed president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment.

2019 is set to be quite a different year for the PlayStation division, particularly in the way it communicates and promotes its products to its audience and the wider gaming community. The company has pulled out of E3, where it traditionally debuted and showed off its biggest upcoming games.

Fans are looking to PlayStation Experience to be the tentpole PlayStation event for 2019. Sony opted to skip PlayStation Experience in 2018, so many are hoping to see it return this year. However, as of yet Sony hasn't indicated it has plans to host the show.

Sony has kicked off State of Play, however. This is a series of smaller, streamed showcases in the same vein as Nintendo's Directs. The first one yielded a new Iron Man VR title, as well as information on No Man's Sky VR and Mortal Kombat 11. You can read all the news from Sony's first State of Play to catch up on what happened.

Sony has said State of Play will return throughout the year to deliver updates on key titles. While the first episode wasn't exactly a barnstormer, the company has a number of big games on the way, including Death Stranding, The Last of Us: Part II, and Ghost of Tsushima, so upcoming episodes stand to be much more exciting.

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Avatar image for icelandichossi
IcelandicHossi

IT'S RIDGE RACER

RIIIIDDDGEEE RACER!! PS3 gonna make the PC obsolete so get another job and pay 600 bucks!

Avatar image for Spartan_418
Spartan_418

RRRIIIIIIIIIDGE RACERRRRRR

Giant Enemy Crab

Five hundred ninety nine yoo ess dollars

Avatar image for davillain-
DaVillain-

Kaz probably realized the Japanese part of Sony is gradually dying away and jumped ship. Moving your HQ to SJW central California was a huge mistake on his part.

Kaz Hirai is nearly 60 years old. (he's 58) In fact, Bill Gates was 58 when he retired as well. From what I've witnessed, most companies' CEO's/board of directors/chairmen/CFO's/CTO's/etc. retire before age 65.

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PlaystationZone

Something going on at Sony because playstation cutting back on digital game cards in shops aslo not doing E3 aslo saveing money and know this . PS4 sold a lot but ya something going on here but not just Sony it’s ninendo as well since ninendo from USA retired as well . Oh well enjoy retirement thanks great hardware PS2 .

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MisterVulpes

Is it Ridge Racer though?

Avatar image for videogameninja
videogameninja

Seems like a lot of the big names associated with their respective brands are leaving the industry in some capacity lately. Wonder if there is a reason for that or if it is just coincidental. In any case, we all need to retire at some point so hopefully Kaz can reap the benefits of all his labor as he transitions into the next phase of his life.

-CHANGING OF THE GUARD NINJA APPROVED-

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starjay009

Happy retirement great man !!! Thank you for one of the best consoles in history - the PS2 !!! God bless.

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Midna

Nintendo fanboys will say that Kaz is only retiring from Sony because Reggie retired from Nintendo lol.

SoNy CoPyInG NiNtEnDo AgAiN!!

Avatar image for Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

My favorite Kaz moment is 2006 E3 "It's Ridge Racer" on PSP. The PSone classics on Playstation Portable reveal to zero fanfare.

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PlaystationZone

@Megavideogamer: He said Ridge Racer remember that one lol

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GirlUSoCrazy

Enjoy retired life