Longtime Sony watchers can debate when exactly one of Japan Inc.'s best turnaround stories began. April 1, 2014 is as good a guess as any.
That was the day then-CEO Kazuo Hirai plucked Kenichiro Yoshida from relative obscurity and named him chief financial officer. At the time, Hirai had held the top job for two years -- long enough to see how the likes of Apple, Google and Samsung had run away with industries Sony once dominated. Long enough, too, to realize he needed help stopping the hemorrhaging that had sent shareholders fleeing.