Sony's Kazuo Hirai will replace Stringer as CEO

By on February 1, 2012, 1:30 PM

Sony has confirmed that PlayStation veteran Kazuo Hirai will be promoted to chief executive, replacing current CEO Sir Howard Stringer effective April 1. Stringer will become chairman of the company's board in June. The move comes as the electronics and entertainment company tries to engineer a turnaround seeking a strategy of closer integration between content, networked devices and services.

"Kaz is a globally focused executive," Stringer said in a statement. "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."

Sony is expected to announce fiscal third-quarter earnings tomorrow and has already forecasted its fourth straight year of net losses for the fiscal year through March. Troubled by a strong yen eroding overseas earnings, the effects of last year's earthquake in Japan, and seven years of losses in the LCD TV business, the company has seen its stock value drop by more than 50% since Stringer took the helm in 2005.

The embarrassing hack its PlayStation Network suffered last year didn't help the company's image, either.

Kaz Hirai became chairman of  Sony Computer Entertainment in August 2011 while leaving the role of president of the division to Andrew House. He was instrumental in the rise of the PlayStation brand during his years working for the division, and though the latest-generation PS3 was off to a rough start, it did recover from the dominance of the Nintendo Wii to reach a global installed user base of more than 60 million.

One of the toughest challenges ahead of him will be turning around the unprofitable TV business, but the company has already taken some steps to minimize losses. In December, Sony ended a seven-year LCD joint venture with Samsung and said it'd sell its nearly 50% stake to the South Korean company for $940 million. The Japanese firm will switch to cheaper outsourcing for LCD panels rather than investing in their production.




User Comments: 8

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Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Who buys Sony LCD tvs anyways? With competition as tough as it is who wants to pay an extra couple hundred bucks because it says Sony. Their only hope is to get the PS4 right and not end up in the same situation as the current console, granted it did do alright around the middle of its life span up until their online service got hacked. I for one am going to wait till the next gen consoles drop below the $300 mark, I see no reason to buy a gaming platform which wont be able to outperform my PC now or whenever it is released. Maybe a change in management is what is needed.

Mudvayne819 said:

If i was sony, i would stop making new playstation and instead invest in the tablet market, just like razer did. or ditch that and invest in new technology like transparent lcd panel, keyless keyboard and stuff or green computers, solar computer w/e, because to me PS isnt appealing. console gaming is dead, by the time they have all he problems and bug fixed, the hardware thye used for that console is already obsolete... whats the point of selling obsolete gaming console...

or id just invest in a playstation software so every PC in the world can play their game, that would be profit, they would sell more games and wouldnt have to sell console. less development, more profit.

why develop something to play games, when there's already something called a PC.

Guest said:

@mudvayne819 So Sony should drop ps4 and either focus on an already extremely saturated market or dump all their money into the market of mystical technology in which they could only be at a disadvantage, all because you have this asinine idea that console gaming is dead.

ok

Raswan Raswan said:

Guest said:

@mudvayne819 So Sony should drop ps4 and either focus on an already extremely saturated market or dump all their money into the market of mystical technology in which they could only be at a disadvantage, all because you have this asinine idea that console gaming is dead.

ok

+1

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

mudvayne819 said:

If i was sony, i would stop making new playstation and instead invest in the tablet market, just like razer did. or ditch that and invest in new technology like transparent lcd panel, keyless keyboard and stuff or green computers, solar computer w/e, because to me PS isnt appealing. console gaming is dead, by the time they have all he problems and bug fixed, the hardware thye used for that console is already obsolete... whats the point of selling obsolete gaming console...

or id just invest in a playstation software so every PC in the world can play their game, that would be profit, they would sell more games and wouldnt have to sell console. less development, more profit.

why develop something to play games, when there's already something called a PC.

No. Just, no.

Guest said:

The thing Sony needs to do to return to profitability is to fire all the managers responsible for:

Handling user financial details in the clear on a network based on old and unpatched software.

Using the courts in bad faith to put firms selling legal backup products out of business.

Audio CDs with rootkit malware, built with stolen software, that infect customer PCs.

Camera sensors prone to failing, without a worldwide recall or compensation.

Removing (stealing) functionality users paid for, in software updates.

Being a member of the RIAA and sanctioning predatory litigation.

Artificially restricting resale and competition through DRM.

A long history of awful media formats that deservedly fail.

Artificially keeping prices high through region-locking.

Consumer electronics hobbled by brand price premiums.

Litigation and smear campaign against GeoHot.

Being responsible for DRM SecuRom malware.

Shipping a poorly-designed PS3 at $599.

Blaming everyone else but themselves.

Treating their customers like ******.

I think that will end up being most of them.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Meh, Back in the old days of PS2 I had quite a bit of respect for Sony, they made good TV's, good sound systems, a good console and even their camera's were very good and worth the price premium, but these days competition have catched on and simply out-do Sony massively. Also Sony seem to be releasing software hell bent on installing rootkits on your PC or bricking the console you just purchased.

If they can sort their act out, get some good designers in and make some good products, lower the prices to actually compete with the rest of the world and stop with all this piracy bullsh*t then Sony may return to make a decent profit, MAY return that is...

tonylukac said:

Sony still installs rootkits. Heard of secure-rom?

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