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Sony Taps Hirai To Run Merged Electronics Unit

3/10/2011 10:03:16 AM Eastern

Tokyo - Sony has restructured
its operations, combining the formerly separate electronics unit with the
PlayStation unit into a new division overseen by PlayStation head Kazuo Hirai

The changes are effective April 1, the beginning of Sony's new
fiscal year.

Hirai, who was credited with restoring profitability to the
networked products and services group (NPSG), which markets the PlayStation 3
and PSP platforms, will be looked to for guidance in returning the declining electronics
operations to position of industry leadership.

His expertise in network operations such as PlayStation Network
for video games and Qriocity service for A/V entertainment was also seen as
being critical to the evolution of Sony's electronics components in the new
Internet-connected age.

It also places Hirai in the running to take control of Sony
Corporation when Howard Stringer retires, the current chairman said in
announcing the move, although no timeframe has been set for that.

The realignment could be part of a goal Sony set for itself
during an International CES press briefing, where Stringer and Phil Molyneux,
president/COO of Sony Electronics in the U.S., said that the company wants to
regain the top
CE market share in the U.S.
by 2013.

In other moves, Hiroshi Yoshioka, current head of Sony's consumer
electronics, professional solutions and devices business, was appointed the
head of a new division that includes the remainder of Sony's electronics
operations, including semiconductors, batteries, image sensors and professional
broadcasting products.