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Wednesday, February 01, 2012
 Hirai To become Sony President, CEO in April
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Message Text: Sony said on Wednesday that Vice President Kazuo Hirai will take over the roles of CEO and president on April 1 from Howard Stringer, who will retain the chairman's post.

Sony struggles to regain its standing in the consumer electronics sector in which it was once a driving force.

Hirai was promoted last Month to head consumer products and services, which makes up the bulk of Sony's $85 billion in annual sales.

Sony has forecast a fourth year in a row of net losses for the year ending on March 31.

Sony was late to embrace liquid crystal display televisions, a decision that has saddled its TV business with seven straight years of losses. When Apple's iPhone emerged, Sony's phone operations were slow to react, entangled in a complex joint venture with Sweden's Ericsson. The company's answer to the iPad reached market six months after Apple released a second version of its tablet computer.

"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. 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. 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," said Sir Howard Stringer.

"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. I am grateful to Sir Howard and to the Board for their confidence in me, and 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. 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. The foundations are now firmly in place for the new management team and me to fully leverage Sony's diverse electronics product portfolio, in conjunction with our rich entertainment assets and growing array of networked services, to engage with our customers around the world in new and exciting ways," Kazuo Hirai commented.

Hirai's experience in running the PlayStation business made him the logical choice to become the company's next president.

Sony aims to connect all of its electronics products to an emerging network offering music, movies, games and services that can engage a customer well after the product is sold.
 
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