Sony's new CEO Kazuo Hirai  (Source:
Current CEO Sir Howard Stringer will become chairman of the Board of Directors in June

Sony has announced today that Kazuo Hirai will be the company's new chief executive officer, replacing current CEO Sir Howard Stringer.

Hirai, who is currently Sony's executive deputy president, was recommended by Stringer to step up as the new president and CEO. Stringer, on the other hand, will become chairman of the Board of Directors.

“Three years ago, I started to work with the Board on succession plans, and in February, 2009 we named a new generation of leaders to be my management team. Among them was Kaz Hirai, who had distinguished himself through his work in the PlayStation® and networked entertainment businesses," said Stringer. "Kaz is a globally focused executive for whom technology and the cloud are familiar territory, content is highly valued, and digital transformation is second nature. I believe his tough-mindedness and leadership skills will be of great benefit to the company and its customers in the months and years ahead. I look forward to helping Kaz in every way I can so that succession leads inevitably to success. It was my honor to recommend him to the Board for the positions of President and CEO, because he is ready to lead, and the time to make this change is now.”

For now, Stringer will remain chairman of Sony Corporation. But in June, after the annual shareholders meeting, Stringer will move up to Board Chairmanship upon approval from the Board. Hirai will be appointed to the Board as well at this time, and current chairman Yotaro Kobayashi will be retiring.

“As challenging as times are for Sony now, were it not for the strong leadership of Sir Howard Stringer these past seven years, we would have been in a much more difficult position," said Hirai. "I am grateful to Sir Howard and to the Board for their confidence in me, and I look forward to working with everyone at Sony more closely than ever before to build a strong future for our customers, shareholders, partners and employees. The path we must take is clear: to drive the growth of our core electronics businesses - primarily digital imaging, smart mobile and game; to turn around the television business; and to accelerate the innovation that enables us to create new business domains. The foundations are now firmly in place for the new management team and me to fully leverage Sony’s diverse electronics product portfolio, in conjunction with our rich entertainment assets and growing array of networked services, to engage with our customers around the world in new and exciting ways.”

Hirai hit the nail on the head when mentioning the hard times the company has had as of late. Just last year alone, Sony was the target of several hacks that compromised user account information time and time again. Later, it broke up its struggling TV unit, sold its LCD panel joint venture to Samsung, and recently got rid of three new point-and-shoot cameras, recognizing that the area is slowly dying.

Hirai will become president and CEO on April 1, 2012.

Source: Sony

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