TOKYO -- Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai will in April hand a hefty baton to successor Kenichiro Yoshida, the strategy and finance chief who helped rescue the electronics and entertainment group from a deep slump but who must contend with the likes of Google and Samsung.
Hirai took the helm in April 2012 following a four-year streak of red ink culminating in the company's worst-ever annual loss. He brought Sony down to earth, taming an overconfidence that stemmed from its days as a tech pioneer that brought mobile entertainment to a world before iPhones. Under Hirai, Sony delivered its best-ever profit. Yoshida was a key player in that effort.