Kaz Hadano, formerly deputy CEO at Sony Ventures, succeeds Tsuchikawa as CEO.

Kaz Hadano and Gen Tsuchikawa, Sony Ventures

Gen Tsuchikawa (pictured right) has stepped up from chief executive to chairman for Sony Ventures, the corporate venturing arm of Japanese conglomerate Sony Group.

Kazuhito ‘Kaz’ Hadano (pictured left), formerly deputy chief executive of Sony Ventures, will become the new CEO. He has been with Sony since 1997 in several finance roles across Japan, the UK and the Netherlands.

Hadano concurrently serves as corporate executive officer at Sony Wireless Communications and chief financial officer at Sony Network Communications, Europe. Prior to joining Sony Ventures, he held the role of managing director of Sony Global Treasury Services.

“As chairman, I will support the Sony Ventures team, including Kaz Hadano, as he assumes the role of Sony Ventures CEO,” Tsuchikawa said in a LinkedIn post.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to have been with Sony Innovation Fund since its inception and to have built a dedicated team of excellent investors. I look forward to continuing our work together and contributing to the development of the industry.”

Tsuchikawa has been with Sony Innovation Fund since its launch in 2016, when he was appointed vice president of corporate development and chief investment manager for the CVC initiative, and tasked with building up the operations from scratch.

Before that Tuschikawa had had little corporate venturing experience. He joined Sony Electronics US in 2004 as senior vice president of corporate development and treasury before shifting to manage M&A for Sony four years later. Sony Mobile Communications took Tsuchikawa on board in 2014 and he spent eight years in functions including chief financial officer and chief strategy officer.

In 2019, Tsuchikawa was promoted to CEO and chief investment officer for Sony Innovation Fund and the newly formed growth stage-focused Innovation Growth Ventures (later rebranded Sony Innovation Fund by IGV).

Read more about Tsuchikawa’s approach at Sony Ventures here.

Later, in February 2022, Sony Group created a separate entity, Sony Ventures Corporation, for all its startup investment programmes including Sony Innovation Fund: Environment, Sony Innovation Fund 3 and Sony Innovation Fund: Africa.

Global Corporate Venturing featured Tsuchikawa on its annual Powerlist five times from 2019 to 2023.

“In my new capacity as chairman of Sony Ventures Corporation, I am excited about the significant opportunities that lie ahead – particularly in enhancing our global relationships,” Tsuchikawa told GCV.

“I am looking forward to engaging in broader discussions and collaborative initiatives with prominent industry associations, corporate venture funds and venture capitalists that will help Sony Ventures actively contribute to the ongoing advancement of our industry.

“Over the next year, I anticipate that we’ll see progress and success from true category creators across a number of sectors – from deeptech and AI, to healthtech, to entertainment. What will set these startups apart from others is the novel experiences they are bringing to end-users through technology, and the ability to scale their growth.”

Hadano added: “Since its inception in 2016 under Gen’s leadership, Sony Ventures Corporation has been successful in supporting more than 160 innovative companies around the world. I am excited to continue collaborating with Gen and the broader Sony Ventures team as we aim to accelerate our work in partnering with startups that are developing transformational technologies shaping the future of business, entertainment and society.

“One area that holds immense promise is entertainment. Across the globe – from the US to Africa, to India – creators of all kinds are re-imagining entertainment experiences through the integration of emerging technologies. I anticipate that these novel experiences will gain traction among broader audiences and we will see the continued emergence of new creators. To support this growth, particularly in Africa, we launched a new fund last year – Sony Innovation Fund: Africa. Through this fund, we aim to support and nurture seed- to early-stage startups in the realm of entertainment.”

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.