Sony Taps Hirai To Run Merged Electronics Unit

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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.


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