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SONY CORP CEO HIRAI
STEPPING DOWN

Sony Corp. CEO Kaz Hirai will step down from his current post in April, it was announced, and will transition to Director and Chairman. Kenichiro Yoshida will assume the CEO mantle.

The change will take place on 4/1, the beginning of Japan's fiscal year. Hirai had proposed the transition, which the board approved on 2/1, ahead of the Q4 2017 earnings report. The news, announced by companywide letter, reportedly came as a surprise to the stateside company.

"I have dedicated myself to transforming the company and enhancing its profitability, and am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current mid-range corporate plan, we are expecting to exceed our financial targets," reads a statement from Hirai. "And it 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 mid-range 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."

Yoshida, a 30-plus-year Sony veteran, expressed his gratitude to his mentor, adding, "My first priority will be to finalize our next mid-range 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.”

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