First off, all the people who voted Mr. Hirai San in basically picked someone who had Sony CEO written on his birth certificate. A person who dedicated his life to this company. Very admirable. His look just shouts “CEO of a Japanese multinational conglomerate.”
So he fits the part, what makes him cool? In light of all the things going on with Sony: e-mail leaks, hackers, movie delays, stiff competition, this CEO just keeps saying “press forward, screw Korea, they got nothin.” Not only that but I wouldn’t be surprised if Japan asked for help from CEO’s of major companies like Sony to find a solution for their rapidly decaying civilization. They have too many old people, and not enough young people making babies. That’s got to put huge pressures on him when it comes to hiring over there. Can you picture that? A civilization facing a huge dying population issue, and you’re probably right in the center of it because you are one of the civilizations major organizations. Of course I’m speculating on that, but there’s got to be some impact from that on him.
With all of that said, let’s talk about what he was given, and what he needs to carry out. According to his wikipedia bio, having been with the company since the 80s, he definitely lived through Sony’s major glory days in the 90s and some parts of the 21st century, although they haven’t hit those highs yet. The board of directors basically said to him “hey man, you know what the company was like in it’s greatest years… We have never had another period like the glory days… Can you bring it back,” and Hirai san went ahead and accepted the challenge. But there’s a catch, your competitors Samsung, Microsoft, Panasonic, are all 10x more powerful than they were, and now there’s even more competition. As the CEO candidate, he basically had to say “Yes I can, and yes I sure as hell will.” Anyone with even the slightest doubt in their mind wouldn’t have made it that far. Tons of respect for that. That’s like your families’ house getting knocked down, and then being asked to rebuild it with the tools that are left in the crumbled garage during a hurricane.
Hat’s off to Mr. Hirai. Sony definitely has a great biopic worth watching on their hands while Mr. Hirai san cranks up the heat on his vision for the company. With all that’s going on now, his leadership is really being tested, and it’s definitely worth following.
Image Source from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kamikura/7070639199/ – using Bing.com search “free to share and use commercially.”