MARCH 11, 2011 • In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sony Corp. chief executive Howard Stringer said the promotion of Sony Computer Entertainment head Kaz Hirai to oversee the consumer electronics division makes Hirai the leading candidate to replace Stringer some day.
Impact: Kaz Hirai started in the music business but came on with Sony Computer Entertainment America right around the 1995 launch. As head of SCEA he oversaw the hugely successful first two PlayStation systems. Shortly after the launch of the PlayStation 3 he took over for Ken Kutaragi as the head of all Sony Computer Entertainment. Hirai is significantly more focused on the entertainment side of the business, where the consumer electronics division has often been more focused on pushing technology. Thus putting Hirai as head of consumer electronics is a big sign that Sony realizes content is winning over hardware. We view this as a strong positive for Sony and feel that Sony is now getting itself on stronger strategic grounds.