NEW YORK -- The Nikkei, Japan’s economic newspaper, reported that Sony Corp. has picked executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai as Howard Stringer’s heir apparent.
Hirai will be promoted to president of Sony as early as April, according to the report. Meanwhile, Stringer, current president and CEO, is expected to remain chairman and chief executive officer.
Hirai, 51, is considered as a relatively young president by the Japanese corporate standard. Hirai is probably best known for his involvement in Sony’s gaming operations. In November, 2006, Hirai made headlines in the Japanese press when he replaced Sony’s legendary Ken Kutaragi as president of Sony Computer Entertainment.
Sony's Kazuo Hirai
Last April, Hirai was promoted to his current position as executive deputy president, tasked with turning its TV business around.
Sony, hit hard by the poor performance in its TV business, is likely to face a fourth consecutive year of net losses in the fiscal term ending March. Under Hirai, Sony decided last month to end a seven-year-old LCD panel joint manufacturing venture with Samsung Electronics Co. in an effort to cut costs.
The Japanese newspaper reported that Hirai's appointment as president will likely be finalized as soon as next month at a board meeting. Sony, thus far, made no official statement on this matter.
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