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Sony rumoured to be preparing CEO's successor

Kaz Hirai allegedly in the running as Stringer prepares to wind down

Sony is rumoured to be looking for a new president, intended to lighten the workload of 69 year old CEO Howard Stringer and eventually replace him when the time comes.

Stringer has been in control since June 2005, a period which has seen Sony's stock price drop by 25 per cent - chiselled away by strong competition from Samsung, Apple and Nintendo. He has said that he'll maintain his position until the company completes its business plan in March 2013.

The rumours were reported by Bloomberg, which also obtained comment from Resona Bank Ltd's Kohi Toda.

"Stringer should be credited for carrying out structural reforms to stop the company from bleeding," said Toda. "Nevertheless, Stringer hasn't managed to steer the company to growth. His accomplishment was rather earning time and energy for Sony to get ready for the next growth."

Bloomberg's anonymous sources also claim that Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kazuo Hirai is one of the two top contenders for the job. Hirai became president of the company's game division in 1999 and has overseen the introduction of the PlayStation brand worldwide.

The other likely candidate is Hiroshi Yoshioka, who runs Sony's $50 billion consumer products group, covering TVs, Blu-ray players and stereos.

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