Kazuo Hirai has resigned as chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) today as he looks to focus on his role as Sony President and CEO and drag the Japanese company out of its financial woes. Hirai, who is credited with the huge success of Sony’s PlayStation consoles, will remain on the SCE board on a part-time basis.
When he replaced Howard Stringer as Sony’s CEO back in April, Hirai vowed to make “painful changes” to pull Sony out of its ongoing financial crisis, which saw the company post a record $5.7 billion loss for the fiscal year ending March 31. $3.2 billion of that sum was lost during the fourth quarter of 2011 alone.
Earlier this year, Hirai announced plans to shed 10,000 staff — around 6% of Sony’s workforce — as part of a new “One Sony” initiative that will focus on three core markets: gaming, mobile devices, and digital imaging. He also hopes to turn around Sony’s BRAVIA television business, which has been losing out to cheaper solutions from the likes of Samsung and LG in recent years.
Hirai’s resignation as chairman of SCE follows a Bloomberg report in which it is reveled that Hirai and his predecessor, Howard Stringer, were both denied their end of year bonuses following Sony’s record losses last year.