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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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