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Kaz Hirai Becomes Sony CEO, Asks "Holy Sh*t, Now What?"

| 3 Feb 2012 15:08
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As he prepares to take the reins of power, incoming Sony CEO Kaz Hirai wants to know, "Holy sh*t, now what?" [Seriously.]

Sony Computer Entertainment Chairman Kazuo Hirai was recently tapped to take over as president and CEO of the whole Sony Corporation shooting match. He's got a big job ahead of him; Sony's a powerhouse corporation but Hirai says that for a number of reasons, the company is sputtering.

"I thought turning around the PlayStation business was going to be the toughest challenge of my career, but I guess not," he told the Wall Street Journal. "It's one issue after another. I feel like 'Holy shit, now what?'"

The world has changed, Hirai said, and Sony must focus on providing a great "user experience" rather than just manufacturing great hardware. "We really need to buckle down and be realistic," he continued. "I don't think everybody is on board, but I think people are coming around to the idea that if we don't turn this around, we could be sitting in some serious trouble."

Hirai's easy fluency in both Japanese and English is expected to allow him to bridge the culture gap that confounded his predecessor, outgoing CEO Howard Stringer, who doesn't speak Japanese and admitted in a 2011 interview that he spent years not realizing that many of his orders were being ignored. But Hirai will also drop the ax when needed, saying he intends to review Sony's entire product lineup and pull the plug on those that can't compete.

"Sony cannot continue walking on the same path," he at a meeting of investors in Tokyo. "Sony needs to find new business areas, such as medical. We also need to select and narrow our business portfolio."

Hirai takes over as President and CEO of Sony Corporation on April 1.

Source: Bloomberg

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