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Businesses Sony

Kazuo Hirai To Assume CEO Position At Sony 52

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the moving-on-up dept.
thomst writes "Cnet's Stephen Shankland breaks the news that Sony will replace the lamentable Howard Stringer with Kazuo Hirai, the (now former) head of its electronics division. Better yet, the changeover will take place on April Fool's Day. Stringer, who was appointed CEO of Sony in 2005, will become Chairman of its board, and Hirai will become a board member. Hirai has been the leader of Sony's consolidated electronics group only since last year. He was in charge of all Sony electronics products, including the Playstation Network, which famously suffered a massive security breach that compromised its unencrypted user data on his watch."
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Kazuo Hirai To Assume CEO Position At Sony

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  • I mean, he probably SHOULD...but they're not going to MAKE him.

    I just hope Hirai's first speech to the board doesn't include the sentence "I propose we introduce a new propriety format."

    • Nah, It'll probably be something like:
      It's a new propriety format! Proprieeeeeetttyyyyyyyyyyyyyy format!

    • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:25AM (#38891517)

      Judging by who his successor is I'm not actually convinced that Sony believed Stringer ever made any mistakes as CEO.

      Promoting Mr Gaffe Prone Failwhale himself to CEO seems to be the quickest way to finish Sony off, is this really what they had planned? Is this some kind of financial scam that I'm missing the point of where they're making money from Sony's demise?

      • by Kiaser Zohsay (20134) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:34AM (#38891635)

        Nope. It's the Dilbert Principle [wikipedia.org] working its magic IRL. Promote the incompetent to limit the amount of damage they can do.

        • by Xest (935314)

          I was going to ask if the Dilbert principle had ever been tested to this level before, but then I remembered SCO and answered my own question.

          We already know how this ends, it's not quick, and it's not pretty.

          • Truth! I followed the SCO story, thinking that there must be an amazing master plan being hidden by McBride's apparent bumbling destruction of a healthy company. It came as a surprise when McBride was ditched, as this was when I realized that McBride and SCO's board and shareholders were seriously expecting McBrides almost decade long string of consistent failure was going to be replaced by some kind of success.

            Come on Sony, don't disappoint me! What's this amazing secret plan that forces you to give the im

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Judging by who his successor is I'm not actually convinced that Sony believed Stringer ever made any mistakes as CEO.

        Promoting Mr Gaffe Prone Failwhale himself to CEO seems to be the quickest way to finish Sony off, is this really what they had planned? Is this some kind of financial scam that I'm missing the point of where they're making money from Sony's demise?

        As a result, all Sony TV's will now be sold with big block V8 engines attached to the back but only 3 cylinders will be usable at any one time. Petrol can be bought from the Sony Petrol Network only. Six months later, Sony will release a "Slim" TV that has a regular V6 engine and as an "Upgrade" to "phat" TV users, Sony will disable 2 of the cylinders and the alternator on the big block V8's.

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      It'll probably be more like "I promise to bring customer abuse to a whole new level, driving masochists to us like insects to a bug zapper. We shall not only retain the masochistic elements of our customer base, but bring in the MS and Apple customer bases as well!"

    • Whatever, his first speech is going to be delivered on 1st April.
    • I think "a new proprietary format" is the first bullet point in the standard "new proposal" powerpoint presentation template at Sony.
    • by wierd_w (1375923)

      Too late.

      Sony has already released the new umd.

      The playstation vita card.

      About the same size as an sdcard, but made by sony, and appropriately more expensive, and less versatile.

      Sure, they *could* have just used SDcards and enabled the encryption functionality in the industry standard spec... but they are sony. They gotta "innovate".

    • by tsotha (720379)
      Nah, seppuku is a little harsh. But it really should cost him a finger.
  • Apparently (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Moheeheeko (1682914) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:20AM (#38891455)
    The roadmap to sucess at sony is to take the guy responsible for the biggest fuckup in company history...and make him CEO......
    • Remember, that's Japan, and "fuckup" is a very relative and cultural consideration...
      • Also this is Sony (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @12:03PM (#38891919) Journal

        I'm not sure if the explanation is as much "that's Japan" as "that's Sony."

        For the last decade (at the very least) Sony has acted like a bad stereotype of the guy obsessed with not losing face, and always being right. Every single bad decision, PR gaffe or just someone from Sony putting his foot in his mouth in an interview, they've dug themselves deeper and deeper just to not admit "ok, it was dumb." They'd rather put the other foot in their mouth too than admit that the first one was a foot after all.

        I'm not even sure it has anything to do with Japan per se. While Asians generally are more careful about not losing respect, I don't think they're anywhere near the bad caricature that Sony has become. Plus, I see lots of us westerners doing the same too. I think it's more about hubris and/or insecurity than anything particularly Japanese.

        But, anyway, I can actually see some guys at Sony prefer to promote him than admit that he might have said anything stupid ever.

        • Kazuo Hirai is in the position he's at there solely based on his two and a half decades being at the company. He was fed the royal jelly when he left Sony's music group and joined the video game venture in the Playstation 1 era and has been in the running position for top spot at Sony for years now. It's really a question of who's protecting him and why? I mean, he's CEO because he's the last man standing basically. Ken Kutagari, Phil Harrison, and now Howard Stringer have quit, moved on, retired, and whatn
          • ...It's really a question of who's protecting him and why?...

            This is Japan. Japan works on a culturally ingrained seniority system. Japan has the same problem with their Prime Ministers because the oldest, most senior person of the majority party gets the job. The guy who is the most burnt out and has no new ideas. Sony/Japan knows of no other way to select the next CEO then to give it to the guy who has done the right amount of time in the correct career path.

            I recently met a friend who has been working for 20 years at one of the larger technical companies i

            • by tsotha (720379)

              I recently met a friend who has been working for 20 years at one of the larger technical companies in Japan. I jokingly asked him when he would be CEO and he said never. This was because he had 0 chance of being CEO because his credentials out of school weren't the right ones. Abilities and passion are not variables in the decision.

              He's probably right, but it's hard for us in the US to throw stones. Unless you founded the company, what are the odds you'll make it into the penthouse office if you didn't go

    • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:39AM (#38891681)

      It's the "World According to Garp" principle. Now that he's overseen a huge disaster, he's been disaster-proofed. I mean, what are the odds he'd have two disasters in a row, right?

      • by Moraelin (679338) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @12:21PM (#38892111) Journal

        Actually, I've seen stuff like that in action, except the (sadder) underlying assumption isn't just that they're now somehow immune, but that they've got experience.

        As a trivial example, just think of companies and/or designers who've fucked up two MMOs in a row, and then suddenly get a third, bigger budget MMO to make, because, hey, they're the guys who have experience with making MMOs. And when that turns out to be a fuckup too, hey, lookit all that experience they have making MMOs, someone actually gives them money to make a fourth. (And if you think that that's a totally made up example, and nobody would be that stupid, it's actually the verbatim story of Funcom.)

        Though an even better example is Michael Brown of FEMA fame, the guy who majorly fucked up during two disaster recoveries in a row and had to resign... consulting as a disaster recovery expert afterwards.

  • "Okay, lets get this over with. Assume the position."
    • "Okay, lets get this over with. Assume the position."

      Not quite sure why this was modded Troll. The fact that Sony has promoted the guy in charge of the most recent (of many) customer-hosing screwups definitely says a lot about their attitude toward said customers. They ought to start shipping some lube with their products.

    • "Okay, lets get this started. Assume the position."


  • ...promoting them? Is Sony a bank now? Did I blink and miss something?

    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Well, it makes sense given their business model, which goes something like:

      1) Abuse customers
      2) ???
      3) PROFIT

      Guessing #2 is PR Lies, but not sure.

  • In comes another disaster. Sony needs to return to its roots as a solid engineering company.

  • I mean, Sony's consistently used April 1st for the effective date of corporate restructuring annually since 2009 (at least). Let's at least use this opportunity to bet on who gets axed next season.
  • I like Sony's gaming (SCE's) products far and above the other gaming products I have ever owned (including 3 Xbox 360's, on my first day one PS3 still) - Nintendo, Sega, Atari etc.. You name it I've owned and played it. The spec and build quality of my PS3 is second to none of this generation. The rootkit fiasco - despicable, but a different part of Sony. And the account hacks - well Sony and many others have been hacked with the loss of sensitive user information, so probably not fair to pin that on Sony a
  • Hirai is already receiving congratulations [youtube.com] from people grateful for his stewardship of such cultural cornerstones as Riiiiidge Raaacer!

  • yet fights tooth and nail [livejournal.com] to keep people from using it legitimately for their movies where others allow it.

    • "Sony" is an umbrella that contains many relatively independent operations. Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Records, Sony Pictures, and their chip foundry operations are all effectively independent.

  • The Japanese fiscal year runs from April 1st to March 31. April 1st is when you begin the school year (from kindergarten to grad school), when you begin a new job, the accounting period both for private companies and the state, research funding period and so on and so on. What would be extraordinary is if you have a shuffle at the top at any other time than April 1st.

"Pull the trigger and you're garbage." -- Lady Blue