Sony chief executive and president to step down

Sir Howard Stringer is to leave his post as chief executive and president, and be elevated to the board.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor on

Sir Howard Stringer, both Sony's chief executive and president, will step down April 1st, the company announced this morning.

The move was expected. Sony has appointed Kazuo Hirai, Sony's deputy president, to replace Stringer. CNN understands that once chair of the board Yotaro Kobayashi retires, it is expected Stringer will then replace him.

Stringer became president exactly three years before his stepping down date.

"[Hirai] 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 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."

The job shift does not seem to be on bad terms, however. Sony has faced some difficult years under Stringer, including its stock value falling by over 53 percent. The March earthquake and tsunami and 2011 floods in Thailand had a devastating effect on the company supply chain. End users were also hit by the Sony PlayStation Network breach, in which over 70 million users' data was compromised.

For Sony next, Hirai says: "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."


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