Sony's chairman and director, Kaz Hirai, will be retiring this June. And so another industry legend sees fit to call it quits. Oh, Kaz Hirai, we hardly knew ye.
Everything is changing over at PlayStation right now, isn’t it? There is all kinds of talk about the PS5 buzzing around, the industry giant has turned its back on E3 2019 (for the first time in the expo’s history, and it has even kicked off a new program of Nintendo Direct-style presentations that it has dubbed 'State of Play.'
Granted, that first State of Play livestream didn’t exactly generate the buzz that Sony might have been hoping for (the fact that it got ‘Nintendo Direct’ trending on social media during the show wasn’t ideal, after all). However, the point still stands: change is afoot over in PlayStationville, for better or for worse.
Here’s something else that Nintendo and Sony have in common: they both have prominent figures set to retire. In the Nintendo camp, of course, we’re saying a fond farewell to Reggie Fils-Aime, the gentle giant and beloved meme-machine himself. He’s been President and COO of Nintendo of America for 13 years (15 years with the company overall), and his last official day is in April 15. May your body always be ready, Reggie.
Meanwhile, over at Sony, Kaz Hirai has announced his own upcoming retirement. Hirai stepped down as CEO of Sony in April of last year but remained with the company as Chairman and Director. On June 18, he’s going to retire from the company for good.
For some, Hirai may not be the larger-than-life industry figure Reggie was, but he’s never been afraid to get down with some super silly memes either. Over a 35-year career with Sony, he’s had a huge influence on the company’s success, overseeing the launch of PS3, the PlayStation Network and PS4.
In an official statement, Hirai said: “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.”
So, there we go. It’s the end of an era for fans and for the man himself. With the next PlayStation lurking in the probably-not-so-distant future, there’s a lot about the brand's next steps that remain to be seen. Kirai will still be available as an advisor should Sony need him, and who knows? Maybe they will. All you’ve got to do is switch on the Kaz signal on the roof of the building, guys.