Ex-PlayStation chief and current CEO and President of Sony – Kaz Hirai – is preparing to take a 50 percent pay cut while declining his annual bonus, according to The Wall Street Journal. Other unnamed high-level Sony executives will follow suit in a sign of solidarity with their struggling company, which will post an annual loss for the fourth time in five years.
Such a move comes on the heels of bad financial news for the company. Less than two weeks ago, Sony revealed that it expected to post a $1.27 billion loss for the 2013 fiscal year. In February, it forecasted better numbers, predicting a $1.07 billion loss. Either way, such a loss is a far cry from the $489 million profit it expected to turn in 2013.
Sony is taking a financial beating largely due to its PC business, which it intends to spin-off and sell. According to WSJ, Sony is also struggling to gain a profitable foothold with other initiatives, including the niche 4K television market and the revival of its Walkman brand as a digital music player.
Sony’s PlayStation brand is considered one of the company’s primary focuses, and it’s performing well: PlayStation 4 is the best-selling next-gen console. But WSJ notes that, even with PS4’s historic sales and projections of selling 20 million PlayStation devices in the 2014 fiscal year, the PlayStation brand is trending behind where it was six years prior by 45 percent in terms of hardware units sold.
Hirai, who became CEO of Sony in 2012, was a major player in Sony’s PlayStation business beginning in 1995. He became President of the PlayStation division in 2006 and the CEO of Sony’s games and consumer electronic divisions in 2009. His pay cut strategy is similar to that of Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata, who also took a 50 percent pay cut, with Nintendo board members taking 20-30 percent pay cuts each.