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Kazuo Hirai named new Sony president, CEO
Kazuo Hirai named new Sony president, CEO
February 1, 2012 | By Mike Rose

Sony today announced that Kazuo Hirai has taken over the role of president and CEO of the company, while current president Sir Howard Stringer will become the Chairman of the board of directors.

Reports were circulating earlier this month that Hirai, a longtime Sony employee who was promoted to head up the company's consumer products unit last year, would be taking up the role.

Sony has now confirmed that his new role will be effective as of April 1, 2012, while Stringer will take his position as Chairman in June. Current Chairman Yotaro Kobayashi will then retire.

Hirai was instrumental in the early marketing success of Sony's then-new PlayStation video game brand in the mid-1990s. He worked his way up the ladder and eventually replaced division CEO Ken Kutaragi, who retired in 2007.

Stringer commented, "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."

Hirai added, "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 - 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."

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Harlan Sumgui
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Good to see that Music, Film, and the 3000 other industries that Sony is in aren't at the forefront of Hirai's agenda. I don't have much confidence though that he will be any-more effective than Stringer and I worry that as a lifetime Sony employee, he will have that disastrous Sony arrogance.

Nonetheless, I wish him luck as Sony has been good to its employees, well those not living in China anyway. But making their TV/smartphone businesses profitable is going to be quite the feat given that Sony has to compete with Korea's Chaebols and California's Apple.

Alex Nichiporchik
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Feels like Sony needs to pull an Apple and drastically cut their amount of products, focusing on a few segments where they can really accelerate.

"Why are we making printers if we're not good at it?"

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

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Sony is a good company with too may products. Many that go unnoticed by the average consumer. He should try and convince Sony to move in a direction that makes them lean and directional with their hardware. They should cut some of the fat and focus on the core values of their business.

Andrew Chen
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With all the devices they make (including game systems, computers,mobile phones, TVs and audio systems) all that stuff needs to work well together .

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I remember reading that one of Sony's greatest weaknesses by the time Stringer came on board was that it was too divided , compartmentalized and contentious between its departments. That wasn't working anymore then and its sure not going to work now with platforms and "harmonious ecosystems" becoming a major selling point and differentiation factor.

Sony has the resources and the assets (including their game developers, music labels and film studios) to put out a very compelling product but they are playing catch-up now...bolder decisions to serve the consumer are needed, pure tech won't win the day anymore.

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I think they did try to harmonize their hardware somewhat, but it comes of as a experiment rather than a polished service. For example the PS3 can be used via a VIAO. However they stop so short of realizing that connection that is it hardly useful to anyone that can do it. Now they are promising the cloud as a way to harmonize. Given the track record of such promises, it remains to be seen if they will pull it of this time.

Steven An
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