Kaz Hirai moves up in Sony executive ranking

Posted by Mark Raby

Tokyo (Japan) - After many problems with the launch of the PS3, Sony today announced a bit of a shake-up in the corporate level. Ken Kutaragi and Kaz Hirai, two of the most high-profile executives, are among the handful of people with new titles.

Ken Kutaragi, formerly president and CEO of the Sony Computer Entertainment Group, also known as the father of the Playstation, is now the the chairman and CEO. He will step down from the day-to-day operations as president of the company. Kaz Hirai, the head honcho of the North American brand of Sony's entertainment division, got bumped up to Kutaragi's spot and took an international designation as president and COO of Sony Computer Entertainment International (SCEI).

David Reeves also got a new title, as he adds deputy president of SCEI to his resume, which includes president, CEO, and co-COO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Finally, board member Akira Sato has been appointed as the vice chairman.

Kaz Hirai (right) and Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer

This move comes days after reports of Kutaragi being at the root of the production and delay problems that essentially took the PS3 out of contention for being a hot holiday item. According to the press release, though, he will "continue to oversee the entire SCE Group as chief executive officer, and will fully exercise his power to reinforce and further accelerate the development of the Playstation business."