Sony today announced executive appointments and realignment of its core electronics and networked service businesses effective April 1, 2011.
The company said that the changes were intended to facilitate the next phase of Sony's transformation into "the world's leading provider of networked entertainment and solutions."
Sir Howard Stringer, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Sony Corporation, will continue to lead Sony through the next stage in its transformation. Under Mr. Stringer, Sony will realign its core electronics and networked service operations into two key business groups. After the realignment, all of Sony's consumer electronics and networked service functions will reside in one group, named the "Consumer Products & Services Group", and the growing B2B, component and semiconductor businesses will form the second group, the "Professional & Device Solutions Group".
Kazuo Hirai, currently Corporate Executive Officer and Executive Vice President, will be named Representative Corporate Executive Officer and Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation, and will be responsible for the Consumer Products & Services Group, which will include all of Sony's consumer electronics businesses -- including TV, Home Video, Home Audio, Digital Imaging, PC, Game and Mobile products -- as well as the networked service businesses. Mr. Hirai will also oversee Sony's horizontal global sales and marketing, and common software platforms, as well as the Company's design operations. These are all core functions that primarily support the company's consumer products and service businesses. In his current role, Mr. Hirai has led the turnaround of the games business, expanded the PlayStation Network and directed the launch of Sony's new networked service platform.
In his new role, Mr. Hirai will extend his focus to developing a new generation of products, through which Sony plans to deliver entertainment experiences to consumers in both the home and mobile spaces.
Hirai's new role could be the first step for him to succeed Howard Stringer as chief executive officer.
The Professional & Device Solutions Group, which includes broadcast and professional products, semiconductors, batteries and other key components, will be led by Hiroshi Yoshioka, Corporate Executive Officer and Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. Mr. Yoshioka will also utilize his engineering expertise and experience to further leverage Sony's advantages in new technologies and core devices to identify and pursue new business opportunities, such as in the energy and medical fields.
"I am excited to lead the Company through the next phase in its transformation," said Mr. Stringer. "This operational realignment will help accelerate Sony's growth and innovation by strategically focusing on our cross-Company goals and aggressively utilizing our technological strengths, with the goal of providing great entertainment experiences and innovative solutions to customers around the world. The new responsibilities of Kazuo Hirai and Hiroshi Yoshioka will enable us to concentrate on and, as appropriate, quickly shift resources to, areas where they will have the greatest impact on our overall business. The transformation we began two years ago is progressing very well. The strength of our core products and technologies is growing, and our networked strategy is now a reality. These initiatives, in tandem with our extensive content portfolio, will be the primary drivers of Sony's continued growth and success."
The new structure and executive appointments were formally approved by Sony's Board of Directors at a meeting of the Board held earlier today.