Sony Finally Gets Around to Appointing Kaz Hirai as its New President and CEO

Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

After spending the better part of the last month pretending that nothing had been decided regarding the company's filling of the President/CEO role previously occupied by Sir Howard Stringer, Sony finally decided it was ready to say exactly what everyone pretty much already assumed would be the case: Kaz Hirai, the former head of Sony's Computer Entertainment division, will be handed the job.

Say hello to Sony's new President and CEO. For real this time.

Hirai will take the job officially on April 1, while Stringer will begin his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors this June. The press release announcement was full of congratulatory quotes of friendship and support between the two men, with Stringer stating he was looking forward to "...helping Kaz in every way I can so that succession leads inevitably to success," while Hirai remarked, "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."

Reports about this exact transition came from Japanese newspaper Nikkei as early as January 6, but Sony immediately sent out a brief, curt refutation of the story, claiming that "nothing had been determined at this time." While in all likelihood this actually totally had been determined by precisely that time, Sony likely just wasn't ready with its press releases and investor quotes and whatnot. As we've come to learn in this business, "nothing has been determined" and all derivations thereof translate to: "Dammit, how did you get this story? Look, uh...just give us a month to get our shit together and we'll send you a press release or whatever. In the meantime, just pretend none of this happened."

How, exactly, a Hirai tenure might differ from Stringer's is something plenty of tech blogs will no doubt be debating today, but considering that he's reportedly been in the grooming process for this job by Stringer and crew since 2009, I'd hazard to guess we won't be seeing anything too drastically different.

More than anything else, this increased responsibility simply leads me to believe that I'm unlikely ever again to see a drunk-out-of-his-skull Hirai at a Sony E3 party jump up on stage and excitedly ask the crowd, "Are you ready for the coolest motherfuckers on the planet?!?" right before introducing Outkast, and then proceed to freak dance some nice ladies on the stage during a particularly rowdy rendition of "Bombs Over Baghdad". President/CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations generally just don't do that sort of thing...at least not in view of the press.

Regardless, these are the Hirai moments I'll truly cherish. Not that Riiiiiiiiidge Racer nonsense you kids love so much.

Staff Online
#1 Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

After spending the better part of the last month pretending that nothing had been decided regarding the company's filling of the President/CEO role previously occupied by Sir Howard Stringer, Sony finally decided it was ready to say exactly what everyone pretty much already assumed would be the case: Kaz Hirai, the former head of Sony's Computer Entertainment division, will be handed the job.

Say hello to Sony's new President and CEO. For real this time.

Hirai will take the job officially on April 1, while Stringer will begin his tenure as Chairman of the Board of Directors this June. The press release announcement was full of congratulatory quotes of friendship and support between the two men, with Stringer stating he was looking forward to "...helping Kaz in every way I can so that succession leads inevitably to success," while Hirai remarked, "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."

Reports about this exact transition came from Japanese newspaper Nikkei as early as January 6, but Sony immediately sent out a brief, curt refutation of the story, claiming that "nothing had been determined at this time." While in all likelihood this actually totally had been determined by precisely that time, Sony likely just wasn't ready with its press releases and investor quotes and whatnot. As we've come to learn in this business, "nothing has been determined" and all derivations thereof translate to: "Dammit, how did you get this story? Look, uh...just give us a month to get our shit together and we'll send you a press release or whatever. In the meantime, just pretend none of this happened."

How, exactly, a Hirai tenure might differ from Stringer's is something plenty of tech blogs will no doubt be debating today, but considering that he's reportedly been in the grooming process for this job by Stringer and crew since 2009, I'd hazard to guess we won't be seeing anything too drastically different.

More than anything else, this increased responsibility simply leads me to believe that I'm unlikely ever again to see a drunk-out-of-his-skull Hirai at a Sony E3 party jump up on stage and excitedly ask the crowd, "Are you ready for the coolest motherfuckers on the planet?!?" right before introducing Outkast, and then proceed to freak dance some nice ladies on the stage during a particularly rowdy rendition of "Bombs Over Baghdad". President/CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations generally just don't do that sort of thing...at least not in view of the press.

Regardless, these are the Hirai moments I'll truly cherish. Not that Riiiiiiiiidge Racer nonsense you kids love so much.

Staff Online
#2 Posted by AuthenticM (3699 posts) -

It was coming.

#3 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -
#4 Posted by Akyho (1585 posts) -

AWWW YEAH!! awww he isnt putting his shades on.

#5 Posted by BulletproofMonk (2718 posts) -
@Sooty said:
#6 Posted by Groundings (77 posts) -

I hope his first order of business is to announce the PS4

#7 Posted by ItBeStefYo (1021 posts) -

I need video of this E3 Sony party!

#8 Edited by Vorbis (2749 posts) -

A whole Kaz Hirai article without mentioning Ridge Racer, impressive.

Wait, I missed the last sentence, damnit Alex.

#9 Posted by Winternet (8006 posts) -

Aya caramba!

#10 Posted by DarthB (247 posts) -

I hope he turns that ship in the right direction. Sony really needs to get it together if they want to dominate in the next gen of consoles like they did with PS2.

#11 Posted by Alex_Carrillo (275 posts) -
More than anything else, this increased responsibility simply leads me to believe that I'm unlikely ever again to see a drunk-out-of-his-skull Hirai at a Sony E3 party jump up on stage and excitedly ask the crowd, "Are you ready for the coolest motherfuckers on the planet?!?" right before introducing Outkast, and then proceed to freak dance some nice ladies on the stage during a particularly rowdy rendition of "Bombs Over Baghdad". President/CEOs of multi-billion dollar corporations generally just don't do that sort of thing...at least not in view of the press.

What the fuck? Does anyone have video of that? It sounds amazing!

#12 Posted by MeatSim (10770 posts) -

Alcohol and Ridge Racer 24/7 at Sony HQ from now on.

#13 Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

@Alex_Carrillo: I'm guessing not. This was back in the early 2000s, back before cell phone cameras were regularly available.

Staff Online
#14 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4307 posts) -

I have a feeling Alex just made up that last part....  Or he experienced something truly amazing

#15 Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

@the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG: Oh, it happened. Back in the day, Kaz was legendary for his Sony E3 party band introductions. The other great one was the year Beck played, and he went up and said, "ARE YOU ALL READY FOR THE BECK?!?"

Staff Online
#16 Posted by RE_Player1 (7549 posts) -

Good, I hated Howard Stringer.

#17 Posted by Babylonian (837 posts) -

God, that anecdote is so fucking amazing. OutKazT.

#18 Posted by StriderNo9 (1082 posts) -

I hope his first order of business is to change the Dual Shock controller design.

#19 Edited by Alex_Carrillo (275 posts) -

And now I'm reminded me that we still don't have a new Outkast album. I'm totally bummed out now. The world is cold and cruel.

#20 Posted by Tamaster92 (271 posts) -

Grats kaz! Nice to see him get that job, hopefully he loses none of his charm

#21 Posted by KaneRobot (1421 posts) -

His salary will be increased by five hun....never mind.

#22 Posted by Vexxan (4615 posts) -

@StriderNo9 said:

I hope his first order of business is to change the Dual Shock controller design.

#23 Posted by TheHBK (5463 posts) -

He is still no Regginator.

#24 Posted by Siphillis (1290 posts) -

Hate Stringer, like Hirai. All is right with the world.

#25 Posted by Grimluck343 (1148 posts) -

@Sooty said:

#26 Posted by cuxun (55 posts) -

yah, Kaz Hirai saying that he was not going to be the president is like Chobot saying she will not lick any more Sony Devices

#27 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -

Good for him! That means he is gonna be introduced as "President Kaz" on this year E3, right?

#28 Edited by TepidShark (1058 posts) -

Who's taking Kaz's old position? I think it would be awesome to see Jack Tretton as the head of the Sony Computer Entertainment as a whole.

Jack Tretton is the straight up realist mother fucker on the block! - Jeff Gerstmann

#29 Posted by Mb246 (70 posts) -

@Vexxan said:

@StriderNo9 said:

I hope his first order of business is to change the Dual Shock controller design.

why?

#30 Posted by MosesWalker (55 posts) -

MIxed emotions on this. Happy for Kaz. He seems like a great guy and maybe Sony can turn things around under his direction. On the other hand, a lot of stress comes with that job and we'll probably never see at another E3 press conference.

#32 Posted by LaserLambert (167 posts) -

seems like a rad guy, hope he helps sony and stuff!

#33 Edited by imbarkus (32 posts) -
#34 Posted by SpaceRunaway (845 posts) -

I feel like Sony was all set to promote him, the news leaked, and they delayed it out of spite. 
 
Anyway, good for Kaz.

#35 Posted by ProfessorEss (7281 posts) -

How wrong is it that the only thing I could think of upon reading this article and seeing that image is doin this Photoshop?

#36 Posted by GregIsRad (162 posts) -

I like Kaz

Hope he has lots of success (further) at the top

#37 Posted by Brendan (7689 posts) -

Wait, about that OutKast story...did that actually happen? Exactly the way you described it? I can't believe that's true to a T. I am alright with being the most gullible person on the planet if Alex is joking.

#38 Posted by Alex (1973 posts) -

@Brendan: It literally happened. I was stone cold sober at that party, and watched every second of it.

Staff Online
#39 Posted by LoktarOgar (354 posts) -

So is this the same as if J Allard would take over Ballmer's gig at Microsoft?

#40 Posted by natetodamax (19171 posts) -
@Sooty
#41 Posted by Vitor (2810 posts) -

@BulletproofMonk said:

@Sooty said:

Damn straight son.

#42 Posted by jasondesante (601 posts) -

man, you saw a drunk as fuck Kaz do all that? Man.....awesome! :D thats sooo fuckin awesome

yo alex, when was that by the way? long time ago?

#43 Posted by probablytuna (3540 posts) -

Super gangsta.

#44 Posted by StriderNo9 (1082 posts) -

@Mb246: Because the design is over 10 years old now, it's time to change it up. I'd be happy with concave triggers, as well as concave and maybe even offset analog sticks. At the very least make the controller a tad bigger.

#45 Posted by RadleyDuder (74 posts) -
@StriderNo9 I love the controller. It's the reason I choose the ps3 version of multiplat games. Love the symmetry of it too. And as seen in the few changes between ps1 and 3, they know it's a good controller and see no reason to change it. And madcatz and similar companies will always be making 360 controllers for ps3 and visa versa
#46 Posted by Puck (50 posts) -

Sony is a technology company on the cutting edge. That is......if the cutting edge is from 2002, before smartphones and tablets and cheap TV's, back when the Playstation brand meant something and both Microsoft & Nintendo wasn't eating their lunch. So, yeah, Sony is a relic with sentimental value, at most.

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