Sony promotes Kaz Hirai

Games business chief promoted to head of consumer products unit, putting him in line to succeed Sir Howard Stringer as CEO.

Kaz Hirai has done well at Sony--so well, in fact, that he's now in line to be its next leader. Reuters reports today that the game-industry veteran has been promoted to executive deputy president, effective April 1. The move will put him in charge of a reorganized Consumer Products & Devices Group, the company's largest division. Previously, he had been leading the Networked Products & Services Group, which includes Sony Computer Entertainment.

Kaz Hirai is livin' large at Sony.

The move puts the 50-year-old Hirai in a position to succeed Sir Howard Stringer as Sony's CEO. The 69-year-old Welshman, the first non-Japanese head of the company, is expected to retire in 2013.

"The board and I have talked about succession planning, and this is the first step. We have not made a final decision," Stringer announced at a Tokyo press conference earlier today. "This is an opportunity for the board to watch Hirai-san and judge his performance. There may be other candidates, but he has a leadership position."

The move marks another high point in Hirai's ascent at Sony, which he joined in 1984 as part of its music group. In 1995, he transferred to Sony Computer Entertainment America, rising through the ranks to become its president and CEO. In a 2006 management shakeup, Hirai replaced Ken Kutaragi as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. in Japan, where he helped turn around the then-money-losing PlayStation business. Sony's latest financial report showed that the Networked Products & Services Group's income nearly doubled during the October-December quarter of 2010.

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Discussion

124 comments
huskerman34
huskerman34

Good job Kaz and fixing the PS3 debacle. I believe Sony will rein in the Gaming industry once again.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

@zailbutzu Special K is the man. All hail Special K. It will be nice for Sony to have Japanese leadership once again when Howard Stringer retires.

zaibutzu
zaibutzu

Kaz Hirai. The man, the legend. A worthy successor to the Sony empire. All hail Emperor Hirai!

saxoman1
saxoman1

I'm sorry yall. But 'Riiiidge Raceeeeer' is still as funny as hell to me :(

2x4b96123
2x4b96123

now we just need that giant enemy crab guy to get promoted to marketing director...

raze-boi
raze-boi

"...effective April 1." - This would be hilarious if on April the 1st, they say to Hirai: "Haha happy April Fools, now go back!" xDD. That would be the ultimate prank pulled in history!

noecito
noecito

I forgot to say, I really would like his salary!!

noecito
noecito

I just do not like this guy. When I recall some of his interviews we was always caught contradicting himself from the previous one. A quick one I kremember is he said Sony sets a release dates and they go by that schedule (release of the PS3) they had changed the dates a couple of times by the time he said that. And the contradictions just get going. Maybe he is just not good with interviews.

yearof3000
yearof3000

sstravisd@ where did you get that?! XD

zeniftan
zeniftan

@Kavadias1981: He gifted princes harry and William PS3's when they were first released, that's why he's a Sir. Te he!

MuffintopX
MuffintopX

@sstravisd Haha! That picture is perfect for this, it should be the one used in the article.

DarthChristian
DarthChristian

Sounds about right. he help radically change the way video games are viewed as a legitimate form of entertainment. I say we make a petition and name him the CEO of Gaming period!

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

good now can we have full backwards compatibility on all ps3's like you said they would have during the ps3 launch? c'mon KAZ are you listening to me?

blackace
blackace

Congrats to Kaz. Please no more "Riiiidge Racer" and "Crab Maximum Damage" quotes. You've gotten the Playstation brand back on track after Ken K almost sank it. Keep going in the right direction. Please curb the egos of your Sony reps. ******************************************************************** @PS_Family Bow down mortals. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Riddick, "I bow to no man." ******************************************************

cameio
cameio

congratulation Kaz i hope it's for the better :)

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

@undergroundfrog Do you know Rufus Hound..? Hehe ;) Awesome tash.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

When this guy's on at E3 and other various conferences I always think he comes across well, sharp with a great sense of humour (in fact quite a lot of the Sony team seem to be comedians :p). Good news for us playstation owners, I can see the man having a serious effect. Look at what he did to the income from Network products, he knows his stuff clearly!

shani_boy101
shani_boy101

Good for him, I always liked Kaz. He seems like a really cool guy.

RobbySpry
RobbySpry

I like Kaz. He has a competent and calming presence. Just like my PS3.

ThePriestSeto
ThePriestSeto

The right man in the right place ... Congrats !!!

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

Sir Howard Stringer? Was he knighted by the Queen then? How did he earn his knighthood exactly?

Sigil-otaku
Sigil-otaku

How did they manage to give europe such bad service (compared anyway) when they have a welsh CEO ?? Euro PSN is missing a lot of titles you can get on American ones so would be nice if Sony worked a little on that. Still, good luck to Kaz as he was one of the better sony crew.

ryzrocks
ryzrocks

Games have took over the world in just a few years....n one of the person we can thank is Kaz...congrats man...I thank u n Sony for giving me joy

method115
method115

@RadicalToenail Ah i see now thanks. *goes back to reading comprehension 101

RadicalToenail
RadicalToenail

@method115 What they're referring to as not being a final decision is him becoming the CEO. He has been promoted to Head of Consumer Products and that is a final decision.

chez80
chez80

@method 115 "Games business chief promoted to head of consumer products unit, putting him in line to succeed Sir Howard Stringer as CEO. " Please read carefully next time before you post...

DLobotomist
DLobotomist

congreats man..... seeing how he can turn around ps3 for the better.... he might do a good job as a SONY CEO.... good luck out there....

method115
method115

Wow are people congratulating him? The article says that this is not a final decision and that their could be other people.

phibzy
phibzy

Nice, he really deserves it too.

Guzthon
Guzthon

Congradulations to Sensei Haz Hirai and wish him the best success. God bless him. :)

illmatic87
illmatic87

Haha, I like this Kaz guy.. he has swag.

BlisteredThumbs
BlisteredThumbs

Sir Howard Stringer? Wow, even Sony has knights working for them :D