Kaz Hirai becomes president, CEO of Sony Corp – details

Wednesday, 1 February 2012 08:31 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Kazuo Hirai will take over as president and CEO of Sony Corp from Sir Howard Stringer, the company’s announced this morning.

Stringer will remain in his current roles for now, as Hirai’s promotions won’t come into effect until April 1, 2012.

He’ll then become executive chairman until June, where he’ll become chairman of the board. Hirai’s new roles will be ratified at a shareholders meeting then.

Hirai, who’s been leading Sony Computer Entertainment in recent years as its president following the departure of PlayStation father Ken Kutaragi from the role in 2006, has been rumoured for the ascension for a while. The story intensified last month, but was debunked by Sony until today.

“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,” said Hirai.

“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.”

Howard will take over from Yotaro Kobayashi as board chairman due to Kobayashi’s upcoming retirement.

“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,” said Stringer.

“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.”

Ahead of the today’s news, Hirai became chairman of SCE last September, handing the presidency to ex-SCEE president Andrew House.