MIPCOM: Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai to Give Mastermind Keynote

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Kazuo Hirai

The conglomerate's boss will address industry attendees at the TV confab in Cannes on Oct. 17.

Sony Corp. president and CEO Kazuo Hirai will deliver this year's Media Mastermind Keynote at Mipcom, the world's leading TV confab, in Cannes on Oct.17.

Japan is the country of honor at this year's Mipcom, which runs Oct. 17-20. The conference is also focusing on “the new television,” the disruption of the industry through online and digital platforms.

Hirai took over as president and CEO of Sony in April 2012. He was previously head of Sony's computer entertainment division, where he returned the group's PlayStation business to profit and grew its online PlayStation Network.

But Sony's film division is still a problem child, not least because of the troubled relaunch of its Ghostbusters franchise, a film Hirai had pitched as one to revitalize the studio.

Hirari has been criticized in some quarters following the announcement that his total take-home pay more than doubled last year, to $4.9 million from $2.8 million.

In a recent corporate strategy briefing in Tokyo, Hirari was more keen to focus on TV production, citing series such as Breaking Bad, spinoff Better Call Saul and The Blacklist as examples of the kind of quality entertainment the studio hoped would drive further growth. Hirai suggested it would take "two to three years" to deliver a real turnaround of Sony's film business.

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