Sony Radically Reorganizes Company, Promotes PlayStation Business Head Hirai

Big news from Sony: big S announced a radical internal reorganization of the entire company today, essentially “dividing” Sony into two different groups as early as April 1. At the same time, Kazuo Hirai, the head of Sony’s PlayStation segment, will be promoted and is said to have good chances to succeed Howard Stringer, the company’s current CEO.

Sony plans to combine its consumer electronics and and video game businesses, its two biggest segments, into a single new division, the “Consumer Products & Services Group”. That group will be led by Hirai who can then call himself executive deputy president as well as representative corporate executive officer.

The second new division, the “Professional & Device Solutions Group” will oversee Sony’s digital components and business-facing products. It will be led by executive deputy president Hiroshi Yoshioka (who is currently in charge of the consumer electronics segment).

What happens to Stringer? In the official press release, Sony says:

Sir Howard Stringer, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Sony Corporation, has extended his commitment to lead the Company through the next stage in its transformation.

But Japanese media are now speculating that the realignment has paved the way for Hirai to become Sony’s next CEO soon.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal however, Stringer himself said today that even though Hirai is the “leading candidate” for the job, the race isn’t over yet.