As of April 1, 2012, Sony's current Executive Deputy President and Chairman of its Computer Entertainment (SCE) arm, 51-year-old Kazuo Hirai, will serve as President and CEO of Sony Corporation. Hirai will replace Sir Howard Stringer, currently Chairman, CEO and President, who will become Chairman of the Board of Directors in June, 2012. It was Stringer who actually recommended to the Sony Board of Directors that Hirai serve as his successor as President and CEO.
"Three years ago, I started to work with the Board on succession plans, and in February, 2009 we named a new generation of leaders to be my management team," Stringer said on Wednesday. "Among them was Kaz Hirai, who had distinguished himself through his work in the PlayStation and networked entertainment businesses."
"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," Stringer added. "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. 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."
Hirai joined the company back in 1984 by signing on with Sony Music. In 1995, he moved to SCE America where he played a vital role in the original PlayStation console's success here in the States. By 2006, he had replaced Ken Kutaragi as SCE President. Yet despite his recent efforts, he blames Sony's current success on Stringer's leadership over the last seven years, but he's also grateful for Stringer's confidence in his leadership skills.
"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," Harai said. "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."
Sony's next big launch is the PlayStation Vita, landing here in the States on February 22 for $249.99 (Wi-Fi only) and $299.99 (3G/Wi-Fi).