Skip to main content

Howard Stringer to step down as Sony CEO

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
updated 6:05 AM EST, Wed February 1, 2012
Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corp. Sir Howard Stringer, left, and . Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 10.
Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corp. Sir Howard Stringer, left, and . Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on January 10.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sir Howard Stringer will step down as Sony CEO and president on April 1
  • Sony has appointed Kazuo Hirai, currently executive deputy president, to replace Stringe
  • Sony has faced an uphill battle in recent years as its stock value fell 54% in 2011

(CNN) -- Sir Howard Stringer will step down as Sony CEO and president on April 1, the Japanese electronics giant announced Wednesday.

In a widely expected move, Sony has appointed Kazuo Hirai, currently executive deputy president, to replace Stringer as president and CEO, a company statement said. Stringer is expected to become chairman of the company's board of directors in June, when current chairman Yotaro Kobayashi retires.

Stringer, the Welsh-born former journalist and past president of CBS Television Network in the U.S., was named Sony CEO in 2005, becoming one of only a handful of foreign chief executives of a listed Japanese multinational company.

In a statement, Stringer said the decision was the result of succession plans that began three years ago. Stringer said Hirai has "distinguished himself through his work in the PlayStation and networked entertainment businesses.

Sony's Stringer steps down
What's next for Sony?

"Kaz is a globally focused executive for whom technology and the cloud are familiar territory, content is highly valued, and digital transformation is second nature," Stringer said. "I believe his tough-mindedness and leadership skills will be of great benefit to the company and its customers in the months and years ahead."

Sony has faced an uphill battle in recent years. Its stock value fell 54% in 2011, hurt by a strong yen that dropped profits brought back home, as well as the twin crises of the March 2011 earthquake and the November floods in Thailand, which hit the company's supply chain. The hacking of Sony's PlayStation network last year, compromising privacy data of millions of subscribers, added to the company's woes.

"As 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 said in a statement. "The path we must take is clear: to drive the growth of our core electronics businesses - primarily digital imaging, smart mobile and game; to turn around the television business; and to accelerate the innovation that enables us to create new business domains."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT