Taking over from Howard Stringer, who will become chairman of the board in June when Yotaro Kobayashi retires, Hirai will take up his new position in April as the company refreshes its strategy for the months ahead.
“The path we must take is clear - to drive the growth of our core electronics businesses,” Hirai said in the statement.
51-year-old Hirai currently holds the role of executive deputy president of Sony Corporation, dealing with consumer products and services, and also holds the title of chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment, which hosts the company’s PlayStation products.
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Hirai has risen through the ranks of Sony since 1995 and is said to have been instrumental in its success with the PlayStation brand through the PlayStation 2 era.
“It was my honor to recommend him to the board for the positions of president and CEO, because he is ready to lead, and the time to make this change is now,” Stringer said in the statement.
Hirai will oversee the entire Consumer Products & Services Group, which includes TV, home video, home audio, digital imaging, PC, and mobile products.
Sony has faced a tough decade. Having been valued at $100 billion in 2000, the company is now valued at $18 billion having suffered a downturn in sales of its consumer products across the entire business.