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Sir Howard's days as Sony prez said to be numbered

Younger blood may lead the struggling company

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Sir Howard Stringer may be out of his job as president of Sony, according to a report in the Nikkei Business Daily.

Stringer, who will turn 70 next month, is said to be replaced by Sony's consumer products chief, Kazuo Hirai. Hirai joined Sony in 1984 on the music side of the business, but made his name with the company in its games sector, shepherding the launches of the PS2 and PlayStation Network.

According to the report, Stringer will keep his current role as chairman and CEO with Sony for the time being. However, he is widely expected to stand down and retire next year, regardless of further corporate shakeups. Sony told The Register that it had no comment on the matter.

Stringer has had an interesting career, to say the least. A graduate of Oxford, he moved to the US in 1964 to seek his fortune, but was almost immediately drafted and spent the next two years in Vietnam, where he earned the US Army Commendation Medal.

After his return to the US, he worked as a journalist for CBS before rising to management and ultimately the position of president of the group from 1988 to 1995. He left to set up his own media company, but was poached by Sony two years later as president of Sony USA.

He rose quickly within the company, becoming chairman and CEO in 2005, then president in 2009. He’s a regular at the annual Consumer Electronics Show – last year he shared a stage with Taylor Swift, who looked visibly uncomfortable when he suggested they go shopping together – and is very much the well-known public face of the company. ®

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