On the heels of Sony CEO Kaz Hirai stepping down, industry experts estimate the company’s film and television assets could be headed for sale. Hirai stepped down earlier this week to make way for Chief Financial Officer Kenichiro Yoshida to take over.
The CFO, who will now succeed Hirai, is reportedly “not too keen” on the entertainment business, fueling fire to speculations about Sony being ready for a sale. According to a report on Deadline, Sony’s stock surged 6 percent at $51.99 amid speculations about a potential sale of its entertainment assets which include profiting assets Spider-Man and Ghostbusters.
While there is no official information about the shift in corporate strategy under Yoshida, reports indicate Sony will be looking at opportunities to grow its film and television business, whether through acquisition or merger. However, there has not been any discussion of a sale.
As the leadership passes on from an entertainment business-oriented Hirai to numbers-specific Yoshida, it remains to be seen how the company’s iconic business shapes up in the near future. While Yoshida will take on the lead role at the company, Hirai is expected to remain involved in the company’s entertainment business as chairman. He will reportedly provide his advice and expertise as Yoshida lacks experience on this front.
In a recent interview, Yoshida said he sees Sony as a technology company, one that should keep consumer electronics at its core. Rumors are rife that Yoshida does not regard any part of Sony’s business as a sacred cow, triggering speculations of the possible sale.
Meanwhile, if one looks at Sony’s electronics business, especially with regards to the smartphone segment, the company continues to introduce upper premium smartphones. The company is reportedly moving in Apple’s direction to launch OLED panel-based smartphones this year. Ahead of the MWC 2018, Sony is rumored to be sourcing the same high-quality OLED panels for its upcoming flagship smartphones. These panels will be sourced from LG display division. One of the smartphones to show up at the annual tech show is the Sony Xperia XZ Pro which is expected to pack a 5.7-inch OLED 4K display with 18:9 aspect ratio, and come powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC running under the hood.