Sony's Hirai, executive who led PlayStation turnaround, promoted to CEO

Kazuo Hirai will take over from current CEO Howard Stringer in April

Sony said Wednesday that executive Kazuo Hirai, who runs the company's core consumer products division, will be promoted to CEO and President from April.

Hirai, a charismatic Sony veteran who has long been groomed to lead the company, will take over from current CEO Howard Stringer. Stringer will continue as chairman of the board of directors after the handover.

Hirai, 51, is widely credited with leading a turnaround in Sony's PlayStation business, after taking over just after the launch of the PlayStation 3 game console. He is fluent in English and will become the company's youngest leader since its founder, Akio Morita, according to local media reports. When Sony promoted Hirai to his current role from April of last year, Sony said its management changes were aimed at "empowering the next generation of Sony's management."

The management shuffle comes a day before Sony is due to release its earnings for the October-December quarter. The company said in November it expects losses of well over a billion dollars in its current fiscal year through March, after saying several months earlier it could make a ¥60 billion (US$770 million) profit.

"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," Hirai said in a news release announcing the leadership change.

Howard Stringer, a former television executive who was knighted in 2000, has led the company since 2005, when it was struggling to achieve profitability. He oversaw the cutting of about 10,000 jobs and slashed numerous product companies, while selling off company assets to raise cash and closing factories. The selection of a foreigner to lead a beloved Japanese company like Sony was seen as controversial domestically, and he was sometimes criticized for not spending enough time in Tokyo.

Japanese companies often make key personnel changes in April, when most begin their fiscal year.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?