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Stringer and Hirai Take On New Powers At Sony

Sony chairman and CEO Howard Stringer will become the group’s president as well, while SCE boss Kaz Hirai will lead the Networked Products & Services Group -- which includes the company’s PlayStation business, as well as VAIO and Walkman.
Sony chairman and CEO Howard Stringer will become the group's president as well, as current incumbent Ryoji Chubachi steps down to become vice chairman. The move gives Welsh-born Stringer even greater control over the company, following previous reports that his attempts to restructure the company were meeting resistance from an "old guard" of Japanese execs. Stringer will take on his new role starting April 1st, in changes which Sony claims will "fundamentally reorganize the company’s electronics and game businesses to improve profitability and strengthen competitiveness in the midst of the continued global economic crisis." The reorganization sees the formation of two new business groups, with current Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) president and CEO Kazuo Hirai overseeing The Networked Products & Services Group. Hirai will remain as head of SCE and also become executive vice president of Sony Corporation. As well as including SCE and the company’s PlayStation line, the group will have responsibility for Sony’s VAIO laptop, mobile phone, Walkman and Sony Media Software and Services products. The separate New Consumer Products Group will include Sony’s current television, digital imaging, home audio and video business. This group will be lead by Hiroshi Yoshioka, who also becomes executive deputy president of Sony Corporation. Finally, Sony is creating two cross-company units to ensure that the group’s networked products and services "can communicate seamlessly with a common user interface and will reach consumers in a fast, cost-effective and efficient manner." "I look forward to supporting the new management team as they transition into new areas of responsibility and to continuing to add value in my new role," says vice chairman Chubachi. "I am pleased that, building on the structure we’ve created over the years, the company is poised for an even greater future."

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