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Jeans, music and drastic cuts: How Kaz Hirai remade Sony

Unconventional executive retires at 58

Kazuo Hirai makes an appearance at an event at Ginza's Sony Park in August 2018. The unconventional former executive's hobbies include cars, cameras and saxophones. (Photo by Hisashi Iwato)

TOKYO -- Kazuo Hirai, the former CEO of Sony who got the cash-bleeding Japanese electronics giant back onto its feet and delivered its first record earnings in two decades, retired from the board Tuesday.

His seven years at the helm -- six as chief executive and the past year as chairman -- were a transformative time. Clad in a polo shirt and jeans, the laid-back Hirai breathed fresh air into a company often mired in internal power struggles.

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