Sony's Hirai To Replace Stringer As CEO

Published February 1, 2012 11:36AM (EST)

TOKYO (AP) — Sony Corp. announced Wednesday that Kazuo Hirai, who leads the company's core consumer products business, will replace Howard Stringer as CEO and president as the electronics and entertainment company tries to turn around its fortunes.

The 51-year-old Hirai, currently executive deputy president, was widely expected to succeed Stringer, who will become chairman of the board of directors in June, Sony said in a statement. Hirai had also led the company's gaming business in the past.

In 2009, Hirai was named as part of a new management team to lead Sony, and Stringer had told the board he recommended Hirai replace him.

"Kaz is a globally focused executive," 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. I look forward to helping Kaz in every way I can so that succession leads inevitably to success."

Battered by the strong yen and poor sales in its flat panel TV business, Sony has forecast its fourth year of net loss for the fiscal year through March. It will announce fiscal third quarter earnings on Thursday.

By Salon Staff

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