Sony Replaces CEO Howard Stringer With Kazuo Hirai
After what they consider to be careful consideration, Sony has announced in the New York Times that they have replaced CEO Howard Stringer with Kazuo Hirai. Stringer, a Welsh-born American, has been CEO of the company since 2005, but has had difficulty in turning a profit in the last four years, particularly with Sony’s Playstation console and online gaming ventures through Son Online Entertainment.
Kazuo Hirai served as the former president of Sony’s consumer electronics group. In this role, he oversaw production and development of the Sony Vita and other Sony electronic products and was in charge of Sony Online Entertainment, online distribution of music and videos as well as other key features of the company. Upon his promotion with a unanimous vote from board executives, Hirai had the following to say:
“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. The path we must take is clear: to drive the growth of our core electronics businesses.”
Hirai will effectively become CEO on April 1st, and Stringer will continue in his role as chairman until June when he’ll become chairman of he board. Hirai has spent most of his career with Sony, and has worked for the company since 1984 and has been involved in the video game division since 1995.
Perhaps Hirai’s experience is exactly what Sony needs to better integrate the Playstation Network into the rest of its products, and hopefully Hirai’s experience working with the Playstation division will be fruitful to the company. It will certainty be interesting, to say the least, to see what direction Hirai will take the next generation of Sony hardware to compete with Microsoft’s ever-expanding home entertainment empire.
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