Sony denies it's replacing its president

Reports surfaced last night that Howard Stringer was set to step down by April, but that's not the case, says Sony.

Reports that Sony is planning to replace Howard Stringer as president of the corporation are off the mark, according to Sony.

The rumours resurfaced yesterday through the Japanese news service Nikkei, and said executive president Kazuo Hirai would take over as president in April. Stringer -- currently chairman, president and CEO -- would hand over the presidency, but stay as CEO and chairman.

However, Bloomberg Businessweek reports that no decision has been made by Sony's board, company spokesperson Shiro Kambe confirmed in an email. He declined to comment any further.

The role of president of Sony is linked to the electronics arm, and seeing as Hirai helped pioneer PlayStation in the US, he seems to be a logical choice. But if that is the plan, Sony is staying mum.

Stringer too sounds like he's keen to stay. In November the 69-year-old defiantly scotched rumours that he was departing. "No. I am not leaving this job," he told a New York event hosted by The Wall Street Journal. "It depends on what the board says and all the rest of it, but no, I am fighting. I am up for this fight." We imagine he was gripping the seat of his chair quite tightly while saying this.

Welsh-born Stringer became chairman and CEO in 2005, adding the role of president three years later. Rumours of Hirai replacing him as president first surfaced at the end of 2010. With Stringer as chairman, Sony's shares have fallen 60 per cent. It recently announced it'll buy out Ericsson from its half of its handset division , and produce phones under the Sony brand name . It'll only make smart phones powered by Android.

High prices and intense competition have lost Sony some ground in recent years -- what does it need to do to regain it? Is Android enough to bring it back from the brink? And can the PS Vita compete with cheaper mobile games? Let us know below in the comments, or over on our Facebook page.

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    Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.

     

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