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Sony restructures business, tips new CEO

Posted: 15 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Sony CEO successor  Sony business realignment  Howard Stringer  Kazuo Hirai 

Sony Corp. says it plans to restructure its core electronics and networked service businesses starting April 1. Sony also tipped the possible successor to its 69-year-old representative corporate executive officer, chairman, CEO and president, Howard Stringer.

The current Sony chief has expressed his continued commitment to steer the company ''through the next stage in its transformation.''

But the possible heir apparent to Stringer is now Kazuo Hirai, the head of its PlayStation game business, according to The Wall Street Journal. According to Bloomberg, Hirai has been given the nod over three other Sony executives.

Under Stringer, Sony will realign its core electronics and networked service operations into two business groups. After the realignment, all of Sony's CE and networked service functions will reside in one group, named the Consumer Products & Services Group.

The B2B, component and semiconductor businesses will form the second group, the Professional & Device Solutions Group.

Hirai, currently corporate executive officer and executive vice president, will be named representative corporate executive officer and executive deputy president of Sony, and will be responsible for the Consumer Products & Services Group. This will include all of Sony's CE businesses—including TV, home video, home audio, digital imaging, PC, game and mobile products—as well as the networked service businesses.

In his current role, Hirai led the turnaround of the games business, expanded the PlayStationNetwork—which now boasts more than 7.4 crore registered accounts worldwide as of March 9, 2011, according to Sony.

The Professional & Device Solutions Group, which includes broadcast and professional products, semiconductors, batteries and other key components, will be led by Hiroshi Yoshioka, corporate executive officer and executive deputy president of Sony.

The new structure and executive appointments were formally approved by Sony's board. "Sony is now entering the second phase of its transformation towards new development and growth, under the leadership of Stringer. Sony's board of directors is pleased that Mr. Stringer has accepted our request to continue his leadership of the company as chairman, CEO and president, and we will fully support him and his newly configured senior management team" said Yotaro Kobayashi, chairman of Sony, in a statement.

Sony this month announced its consolidated results for the third quarter ended December 31, 2010. Sales were Rs.1.21 lakh crore (2.2 trillion yen), a decrease of 1.4 per cent compared to the same quarter of the previous fiscal year, primarily due to unfavourable foreign exchange rates.

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