Hirai took the CEO role in 2012 and he has worked in partnership with Yoshida to turn things around in recent years. Among its key initiatives, Sony downsized its loss-making mobile division with cutbacks and a more converged set of products, While the PS4 has been a enormous financial success. The firm also placed more focus on peripherals, moved into AI, and Hirai directly oversaw the rendezvous of former Fox exec Tony Vinciquerra as Sony Pictures new CEO.
According to the company, he played a “pivotal role in pyramiding the industry into a hugely indicative brand while at the same time making the Play Station brand synonymous with exceptional humoring and entertainment”. The company also pivoted towards smart phone image sensors, which has also prevent to be a success.
The past few years have’t been so great for Sony, which could explain the shift in management. The last quarter earning were rather disappointing, with the firm seeing a half-billion dollar write-down. According to its results, the company saw a 54 percent on-year decline in operating income to 92.4 billion yen in the October-December quarter.
Hirai said on a conference call with analysts that it was his decision to step down. He is going out on a high note for the company, whose stock has risen 63% in the last 12 months in Japan. Sony on Thursday raised its full fiscal year operating profit forecast to $6.42 billion, more than double its 2016 income. Sony is expecting full-year revenue of $75 billion, representing a 12% rise from the prior fiscal year.
Sony Picture Entertainment is expected to generate $9 billion in revenue for fiscal 2017, up 13% from the previous year. The studio is projected to swing to an operating profit of $345 million, compared with a massive loss a year ago driven by a $962-million impairment charge against the business.
Hirai’s forward-looking thoughts emerge days after Sony showcased a range of its new projectors, speakers and headphones at consumer Electronics Show 2018 in Las Vegas. The company earlier this month also revealed that the PlayStation 4 sales reached the record sales of 73.6 million.