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Kazuo Hirai  (Source: hempbeach.com)
Kazuo Hirai, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), will relieve himself of his current position and become chairman of the video games unit on September 1

Sony was undoubtedly one of the largest targets during the string of hacks that occurred thus far in 2011. Several sectors of the consumer electronics company were hacked, including the PlayStation Network, the Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) database, the Sony Sweepstakes site, Sony BMG Greece website, Sony's Japanese websites, Sony Canada, Sony BMG Netherlands, Sony BMG Belgium, and Sony Pictures Russia. 

These hacks placed a bright spotlight on Sony's security issues, and have caused a lot of trouble for the company. Just yesterday, several investors called on Sony Chief Executive Sir Howard Stringer to step down, since his ways of running the company threw it into this disaster. 

But Stringer refused to do so. Instead, he took a 16 percent pay cut in the "just ended" fiscal year. 

Now, Kazuo Hirai, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI), will become chairman of the video games unit on September 1. He will be replacing SCEI Chairman Akira Sato, who is retiring on August 31. Briton Andrew House, who is currently the head of the video games unit's European branch, will take over as the new president and CEO of SCEI on September 1 as well. 

While this may seem like a setback for Hirai, analysts see it as a way to move Hirai into a position that will eventually allow him to run the company, since Hirai is a prime candidate to succeed Stringer. 

"He's in pole position to head the whole company, so he needs to focus on that, which is probably why they sought out a successor for the video games business," said analyst Nobuo Kurahashi of Mizuho Investors' Securities.





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