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Sony Names Hirai President/CEO; Stringer Continues As Chairman

Tokyo – Sony
Corporation has named Kazuo Hirai president/CEO, effective April 1, with
current chairman, CEO/president Howard Stringer to become chairman of the board
of directors in June 2012.

In a move that
has been speculated upon in the past year, Sony said in a statement that
Stringer recommended to the Sony board that Hirai, currently executive deputy president,
be his successor as president/CEO.

Stringer will
continue as chairman of Sony Corporation until his ascension to the board chairmanship,
which will become effective upon board approval following the annual meeting of
shareholders in June, when the current chairman, Yotaro Kobayashi, will retire.

Hirai is also expected
to be appointed to the board at the June shareholders meeting.

In a statement,
Stringer said, “Three years ago, I started to work with the board on succession
plans, and in February 2009 we named a new generation of leaders to be my
management team. Among them was Kaz Hirai, who had distinguished himself
through his work in the PlayStation and networked entertainment businesses. 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. 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. I look
forward to helping Kaz in every way I can so that succession leads inevitably
to success. It was my honor to recommend him to the board for the positions of
president and CEO, because he is ready to lead, and the time to make this
change is now.”

Hirai said in a
statement, “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. I am grateful to Sir Howard and to the board
for their confidence in me, and I look forward to working with everyone at Sony
more closely than ever before to build a strong future for our customers,
shareholders, partners and employees. 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. The
foundations are now firmly in place for the new management team and me to fully
leverage Sony’s diverse electronics product portfolio, in conjunction with our
rich entertainment assets and growing array of networked services, to engage
with our customers around the world in new and exciting ways.”