Sony President Loses Title In Executive Shuffle

Sony outlined the changes, which also include a planned reorganization of its electronics and games divisions, in a corporate press release.

"Consumers want products that are networked, multifunctional and service-enhanced utilizing open technologies, and user experiences that are rich, shared and, increasingly, green," Stringer said in a statement. "This reorganization is designed to transform Sony into a more innovative, integrated and agile global company with its next generation of leadership firmly in place. The changes we're announcing today will accelerate the transformation of the company that began four years ago. They will now make it possible for all of Sony's parts to work together to assume a position of worldwide leadership and, together, achieve great things."

According to the International Herald Tribune, Stringer told reporters in a Tokyo news conference that Sony faced two challenges: the global downturn and the fact that "new competitors are springing out everywhere."

Sony warned analysts in January that it would post a record annual operating loss of $2.7 billion for the fiscal year ending March 31. The company has also previously said it would close 57 factories and eliminate 16,000 jobs around the world to stave off weakening global demand for its products.

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The executive reorganization at Sony also means the formation of two new business groups, Stringer outlined.

One of those groups, the Networked Products & Services Group, will comprise Sony Computer Entertainment, VAIO personal computers, new mobile products (including Walkman), and all Sony Media Software and Services. Through the group, Sony said, it will also expand its PlayStation Network service platform.

Kazuo Hirai, currently CEO of Sony's video games unit, will head up the group. Kunimasa Suzuki, at the moment Sony's president of the Consumer of America Group of Sony Electronics in the U.S., will be senior vice president of Sony and becomes deputy president of Hirai's group, where he'll lead home, mobile and VAIO business projects.

The other group, the New Consumer Products Group, will focus on Sony's television, digital imaging, home audio and video businesses and will be lead by Hiroshi Yoshioka, who will become executive deputy president of Sony and president of the New Consumer Products Group from his current role as executive vice president of Sony and president of the TV Business Group. Yoshioka will also control Sony's semiconductor and component business group.

Though no longer president, Chubachi will remain a member of Sony's board and oversee product safety, quality and environmental policies, Sony said.

"I look forward to supporting the new management team as they transition into new areas of responsibility and to continuing to add value in my new role," Chubachi said in the statement. "I am pleased that, building on the structure we've created over the years, the company is poised for an even greater future."