JAPANESE CONGLOMERATE Sony has promoted Kazuo Hirai to CEO, replacing Sir Howard Stringer, who will become chairman of the board.
Hirai will take the position in April. Credited for his work in Sony's Playstation business, Hirai presently serves as Sony's executive deputy president.
Stringer will continue as chairman of Sony until his ascension to the board chairmanship, which will become effective following the annual meeting of shareholders in June, when the current chairman, Yotaro Kobayashi, will retire. Hirai is also expected to be appointed to the board at the June shareholders meeting.
Stringer said, "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."
He added, "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." µ