By KENJI IZAWA/ Staff Writer
February 3, 2023 at 16:23 JST
Hiroki Totoki, right, who was appointed president and chief operating officer of Sony Group Corp., shakes hands with current President Kenichiro Yoshida in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on Feb. 2. (Ikuro Aiba)
When Hiroki Totoki takes over as new president of Sony Group Corp. on April 1, he promises to chart a path for growth for the entertainment and electronic giant.
Totoki, 58, who will serve as president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, has experience in various fields including banking and telecommunications.
The current president, Kenichiro Yoshida, 63, is stepping down after five years and will remain chairman and chief executive officer of Sony.
“Totoki’s strongest point is his strong will for growth," Yoshida said at a news conference on Feb. 2.
Yoshida said it will be necessary to look at a wide range of businesses and cope with changes at a time when advances in new technologies such as artificial intelligence and automated driving are emerging.
Totoki said, “There is a fine line between rapidly advancing technologies turning into further growth or being disrupted in the middle.”
“I will pursue growth,” he said.
The two will lead the management of the company from April. Totoki has long worked in tandem with Yoshida.
When Totoki was working for a Sony subsidiary that is involved in the telecommunications industry, he answered to Yoshida, who was the subsidiary company president.
In 2013, Totoki returned to Sony along with Yoshida.
Totoki was involved in Sony's acquisition of a music publishing company and business investments, mainly in image sensors, which the company now holds the top share of in the global market. He is highly regarded for his abilities.
Sony’s financial performance has fared well, mainly in the entertainment business, which includes video games, music and movies.
In addition to its entertainment business, the company also operates three other businesses of home electronics, semiconductors and finance with annual sales amounting to around 10 trillion yen ($77.77 billion).
Sony's entertainment and image sensor businesses are performing well, and the company forecast operating profits to exceed 1 trillion yen for the second consecutive year in the current fiscal year ending March 31.
Totoki, however, will face challenges integrating Sony with the newly emerging technologies.
Sony is currently strengthening its investments in new fields. For example, it established an electric vehicle joint venture with Honda Motor Co.
It is also collaborating with overseas game companies in the "metaverse," a virtual space on the Internet.
“Sony is a unique business entity that combines entertainment and technology,” Totoki said. “Diversity can be a strength.”
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