SHANGHAI — Here’s a sign of the times. Nobuyuki Idei, former CEO of Sony and a man with a lot of clout, has been hired as a consultant for Chinese game developer Youzu.

Nobuyuki Idei

Above: Former Sony CEO Nobuyuki Idei.

Image Credit: Sony

Youzu Interactive chairman and chief executive Lin Qi said that the company has hired Idei as a consultant to serve as a one-man “think tank” for the firm during the implementation of its global deployment strategy.

At a signing ceremony at the ChinaJoy game trade show in Shanghai, Qi said that younger business leaders will need guidance from global leaders such as Idei.

Idei was responsible for much of Sony’s global expansion during its heyday years, but he was also one of the most controversial executives in the history of Sony. He had the reputation as a traditional entrepreneur who knew the Internet’s importance.

After leaving Sony in 2005, he set up Quantum Leaps Corp., a sci-tech consulting firm. Idei said at the signing ceremony that he is quite familiar with China and bullish about the Chinese market and capacity that Chinese firms have for innovation and development.

Qi’s Youzu is making games, movies, and other entertainment. The company has more than 1,000 employees, and its online and mobile games are played in more than 70 countries. The company’s biggest hit is League of Angels. That success enabled Youzu to go public in June 2014.

The company is in the process of setting up operations in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan., acquired by Youzu Interactive, has been installed on more than 2 billion mobile devices worldwide.

Lin Qi, CEO of Youzu, and former Sony CEO Nobuyuki Idei.

Above: Lin Qi, CEO of Youzu, and Idei.

Image Credit: Youzu

Disclosure: The organizers of ChinaJoy paid my way to Shanghai. Our coverage remains objective.