Kazuo Hirai hands over PlayStation CEO role to Andrew House

29 Jun 2011

Kazuo Hirai, head of the PlayStation unit at Sony, is handing over the role to the head of the European PlayStation unit Andrew House, leaving Hirai as chairman.

Speaking to Reuters, a Sony spokesperson said the changes were not connected to the recent hacking of the PlayStation Network.

Welsh-born Andrew House will take over as the unit’s new president and CEO from 1 September.

Hirai, who also has control over all of Sony’s consumer businesses, will become chairman of the video game unit.

The move is not seen as a setback for Hirai, as he is still the forerunner to become head of Sony after the current CEO, Howard Stringer, retires. Analysts believe Hirai was pulled out of that role in order to focus on succeeding 69-year-old Stringer.

Pay cuts

Both Stringer and Hirai received pay cuts after the Japanese earthquake and the PlayStation Network hack impacted the company. Stringer’s salary fell by 15pc and Hirai’s pay was down by 9m yen, excluding stock options.

Stringer managed to dodge demands to step down at a recent shareholder meeting, saying Sony wasn’t the only organisation to suffer from hacks, pointing at recent attacks on other institutions by LulzSec, which has since ceased activity.

Stringer also said Sony’s brand perception was improving, pointing out that 90pc of PlayStation Network users have returned to the service.