In early January rumors started swirling that Sony CEO Howard Stringer would be replaced by Kaz Hirai. At the time Sony denied the rumors and made no additional comments on the matter. This week the rumors came true and Hirai was promoted to CEO of Sony.
Kaz Hirai will take over the role of Sony CEO on April 1 while Howard Stringer will serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors starting in June. Sony’s press release indicated that Stringer was looking to support Hirai in his new role saying he will be, “…helping Kaz in every way I can so that succession leads inevitably to success.”
Hirai also had positive things to say about Stringer’s time in the CEO position. “Challenging as times are for Sony now, were it not for the strong leadership of Sir Howard Stringer these past seven years, we would have been in a much more difficult position.”
Hirai had some interesting things to say about his new role when he talked with the Wall Street Journal. “We can’t just continue to be a great purveyor of hardware products, even though some people expect us to do that.”
Hirai continued, “We really need to buckle down and be realistic. I don’t think everybody is on board, but I think people are coming around to the idea that if we don’t turn this around, we could be sitting in some serious trouble.”
What he is looking to do is cut down on the range of products that Sony offers. “We’re going to tell [each of our business sectors] what [they] are going to make — not the other way around,” Hirai said to the Wall Street Journal.
It seems that all of this change might be more than a little bit necessary. Just yesterday the company posted new financial numbers which included a forecasted loss of $2.9 billion for the year ending in March. Hirai is correct in saying that the company could be headed for big trouble if things don’t turn around. Hopefully the new CEO will bring some freshness to Sony and make changes that have a positive impact.