Kazuo Hirai is a person I’ve always admired and respected for what he did for the PlayStation brand. He really managed to stay in the game on the console market, beating the Xbox and fighting it even in its homeland, USA. Now he gets credit for the achievements and will get promoted to CEO and president of Sony, replacing Howard Stringer in both roles.
Sony really needs someone new to steer them in the right direction after completely taking over the Ericsson side of the Sony Ericsson partnership. Meanwhile, Stringer will become chairman of the board in June and remain executive chairman until then. Hirai is a 59 year old man, born in Tokyo and an International Christian University graduate in 1984 with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. He started his career at Sony Music, joined Sony’s computer and videogame segment in August 1995 and had his first completed video game in 1997.
After becoming head of the Sony Computer Entertainment America segment, Hirai was a crucial piece in achieving fame on US soil, even with the Xbox evolving fast. He placed PlayStation ads in mainstream sports events and got support from NBA, NHL, NFL and NASCAR, a brilliant marketing move. On November 30, 2006 Hirai replaced Ken Kutaragi as President of Sony Computer Entertainment and now he evolves to the ultimate position at Sony. This is a good thing for Sony that’s a traditional company, so having a Japanese CEO with such great experience should prove to be a big boost.