Sony CEO Is a ‘Fortnite’ Fan, and Not Just for the Profits – The Wall Street Journal

Kenichiro Yoshida remembers the day—Sept. 17, 2014—that he felt Sony Corp. hit bottom.

Then, as Sony’s newly minted chief financial officer, he was bowing in apology at a press conference because the company had halted its dividend payment for the first time. The maker of the Walkman and the Trinitron television had yet to embrace the internet age. It had no iPhone, no profits and, some thought, no future.

What Sony needed, Mr. Yoshida says, was perhaps the most Japanese solution available: Look to America. That is where the company had latched onto the technology for its transistor radios and TVs, the idea for a Sony music label and even Western-style corporate governance. In 2016, it relocated its PlayStation business to San Mateo, Calif. Applying the lessons of internet services like Amazon Prime, Sony also built a PlayStation subscription service with tens of millions of customers.

Now its stock is surging, profits are steady at about $5 billion a year and the pandemic has proved a boon for Sony videogames and movies in streaming. The PlayStation 5 game console goes on sale this year, and thanks to the subscriptions the PlayStation franchise is no longer a money maker only when a new box comes out. Still, Sony faces competition from Microsoft Corp.’s latest Xbox lineup, and some of its businesses, such as smartphone parts, are sensitive to economic headwinds from the coronavirus.

The Wall Street Journal spoke with the 60-year-old Mr. Yoshida, who became CEO in 2018, about what has driven Sony’s comeback and what’s next. (The interview, conducted in Japanese, has been translated and edited.)

Please use our Creator CODE: MOKOKIL1

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *