Sony CEO Kaz Hirai to step down in April

(Reuters/Toru Hanai)Sony CEO Kaz Hirai will step down in April.

Things are about to change in one of the world's leading tech and gaming giants, as one of its respected leaders is set to step down.

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai announced this week that he is stepping down from his position effective April 1, USGamer reported. Hirai's announcement came ahead of the company's latest quarterly earnings, the report added. Hirai leaves the company after six years of service, which started with his appointment as President and CEO back in April of 2012.

"I have dedicated myself to transforming the company and enhancing its profitability, and am very proud that now, in the third and final year of our current mid-range corporate plan, we are expecting to exceed our financial targets," said the Sony boss in a statement. "And it excites me to hear more and more people enthuse that Sony is back again," he added.

He also said that alongside his departure, the company will enter into a "new mid-range plan" which Hirai feels is "the ideal time to pass the baton of leadership to new management, for the future of Sony."

He also named Kenichiro Yoshida as his successor. Yoshida has been supporting Hirai since 2013 as Sony's CFO. "Mr. Yoshida combines a deeply strategic mindset with a relentless determination to achieve defined targets, and the ability to take a global viewpoint," Hirai added.

Meanwhile, sources told Variety that the Sony CEO's decision to relinquish his post is partly caused by the toxic travel schedule he had been going through for the last six years, which is taking a toll on him. Moreover, sources also said that Hirai is looking to spend more time with his family in their home in Northern California.

Technically, Hirai has been with Sony since 1984, back when he was still part of the company's music division, Gamespot noted. After transferring to Sony Computer Entertainment America in 1995, he played a big role in launching two of the company's flagship gaming consoles, namely, the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3.