Kazuo Hirai is retiring. The 58-year-old has been the director and chairman of Sony for roughly a year, after he stepped down as CEO back in April 2018. Perhaps most commonly known for all the internet memes -- something that Hirai himself acknowledged during a press conference in 2016 -- it's very likely that Sony wouldn't be the company that it is today without Kaz.
Spanning a career that's lasted over 35 years, Hirai was made president of Sony Computer Entertainment shortly after the PS3 launched in 2006. Needless to say, he came in at a reasonably rough time for PlayStation and Sony in general. Over the next few years, the company's struggles would become clear, and so after he had set PlayStation back on the right track as CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Interactive, he climbed the ladder again.
This time, Hirai's goal was to overhaul Sony as a whole, reshaping its businesses after years of losing money. Under his leadership, the company's fortunes were reversed as he consolidated its efforts, and by the time the PS4 came around, Sony was in a far stronger position. The rest, as they say, is history, as the wildly successful current-gen console has gone on to act as the foundation of the firm's business.
During his time at PlayStation, Hirai oversaw a lot of stuff that's been crucial to the brand's ongoing success, namely the growth of the PlayStation Network, which is now generating a staggering amount of profit.
Hirai was the president of Sony Corporation from 2012 until 2018, a position that clearly suited him well, given the company's upward trajectory during that time. When he retires from his aforementioned position as director and chairman this June, Hirai will continue to act as a senior adviser at the request of Sony.
As a PlayStation-focused website, we'd like to wish Kaz all the best in his retirement.