Sony was a bruised behemoth when Kaz Hirai took the helm in 2012; the company is now on the verge of recording its best-ever financial performance since all the way back in 1998. The former PlayStation president has completely transformed the juggernaut’s fortunes, then – but what is the secret to his success? A brilliant new Nikkei article explores the backstory of Ridge Racer’s biggest fan.
Hirai, in essence, spent a lot of time between Japan and America growing up, making him what’s known as hen-Japa (“odd Japanese”) as opposed to jun-Japa (“pure Japanese”). This fusion of cultures has set him apart from his buttoned up peers, and helped him to analyse Sony’s business from a global point of view.
There’s a lot more in the Nikkei article, including his approach to management – he is calm and never loses his temper at work – and his personal style; Hirai, for example, wears jeans and sneakers in the office, as opposed to a three-piece suit. He is, by Japanese standards, apparently a bit of an oddball – but one who just so happens to have saved a sinking ship.