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article imageKazuo Hirai replaces Sir Howard Stringer as Sony president, CEO

By Andrew Moran     Feb 1, 2012 in Business
Tokyo - Sony Corp. has announced that Sir Howard Stringer has been replaced by Kazuo Hirai as the company's president and CEO as of Apr. 1. Stringer will become Sony's Chairman of the Board of Directors in June.
On Thursday, Sony will release its fourth quarter earnings report. Last quarter, the company’s revenues declined nine percent due to a low number of sales in LCD TVs and a decrease in profits.
According to a press release, Sony has appointed 28-year company veteran Kazuo Hirai as president and chief executive officer as of Apr. 1. Hirai, who was crucial in the rise of the PlayStation in the United States, will replace Sir Howard Stringer.
As of June of this year, Stringer will serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors – Hirai is also expected to be appointed to the Board at the shareholders meeting scheduled for June.
During Stringer’s seven years, Sony has lost its place in the electronics department as companies like Apple and Samsung have ascended to the top of the business. Analysts also say that Sony has lost its competitive and innovative edge that it used to hold years ago.
“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,” said Stringer in a prepared statement.
“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.”
Many are not surprised, though, of Hirai’s appointment. Rumors first surfaced in January that the Sony veteran would become president, but Sony’s Board confirmed that they did not yet make a decision regarding the decision.
“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,” said Hirai in the news release.
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