Sony realignment means Hirai could be future CEO

10 Mar 2011

Sony is undergoing a major corporate reshuffle, dividing the company into two major parts and promoting two of its executives.

Sony stated these internal changes will be the backbone of the next phase of the company’s strategy to become the “leading provider of networked entertainment and solutions.”

Sony CEO Howard Stringer will oversee the realignment of the company. It will see its consumer electronics and networked service functions under the Consumer Products and Services Group and its B2B, component and semiconductor business will join the Professional and Device Solutions Group.

Kazuo Hirai, who now runs the PlayStation segment of the company, will be promoted to representative corporate executive officer and executive deputy president from 1 April. He will lead the Consumer Products and Services Group.

He is tipped to become Sony’s next CEO, succeeding 69-year-old Howard Stringer when he steps down, which he is expected to do in 2013.

Stringer said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that while Hirai is a “leading candidate,” there’s still no guarantee he’ll be the next boss of Sony.

Hiroshi Yoshioka, corporate executive officer and executive deputy president, could be another contender and he will be charge of the Professional and Device Solutions Group.

“The new responsibilities of Kazuo Hirai and Hiroshi Yoshioka will enable us to concentrate on and, as appropriate, quickly shift resources to areas where they will have the greatest impact on our overall business,” said Stringer in a statement.

“The transformation we began two years ago is progressing very well. The strength of our core products and technologies is growing, and our networked strategy is now a reality. These initiatives, in tandem with our extensive content portfolio, will be the primary drivers of Sony’s continued growth and success.”