Kaz Hirai, the CEO of Sony Corp that oversaw the launch of the PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset, is stepping down.
Hirai is to leave his role on April 1st 2018 and assume the new role of Chairman, Sony announced today, while Kenichiro Yoshida will replace him as CEO and President. By April, Hirai will have served as CEO for six years, taking on the role in 2012. PSVR itself was revealed in early 2014 and released in late 2016.
The executive first joined Sony as part of its music division but, in 1995, came to the new PlayStation division, where successes like the original console and the behemoth that was the PS2 helped him rise through the ranks. In 2006, he became the President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment (now known as Sony Interactive Entertainment), leading the PlayStation business through the next few years in which it would start dabbling with VR.
Over the past few years Hirai has spoken on numerous occasions about the importance of PSVR not just to Sony Interactive Entertainment but also the entirety of the company. Since launch, PSVR has gone on the sell over two million units, which is largely thought to have made it the most popular console or PC-based VR headset on the market right now.
Yoshida, meanwhile, has been serving as Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation since 2013 and has previously worked in both Sony’s music and games divisions. How will PSVR fare under his leadership?