Sony consumer head to replace CEO

CEO and president Howard Stringer will step down and be succeeded by current head of consumer and services business, Kazuo Hirai.

Sony CEO and President Howard Stringer will step down from his two posts and be succeeded by executive deputy president, Kazuo Hirai, who currently heads the consumer products and services group.  

In a statement Wednesday, the Japanese consumer electronics giant said Stringer will step down from his role on Apr. 1 but retain his role as company chairman, until his promotion to chairman of the board of directors. This position will take effect following the approval of the board in June, the company said.

According to Sony, Stringer had recommended Hirai as his successor. "[Hirai] is a globally focused executive for whom technology and the cloud are familiar territories, content is highly valued, and digital transformation is second nature," he said. "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."

Hirai highlighted several areas the company would need to focus on moving forward. "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 accelerate the innovation that enables us to create new business domains," he said in the statement.

The Japanese consumer electronic giant is facing increasing competition from other brands such as Samsung. In a previous ZDNet Asia article, Ken Hyers, senior analyst for networking and mobility practice at Technology Business Research, said Samsung had built a trusted brand in consumer electronics which "eclipsed even Sony's brand reputation".


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