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(Pocket-lint) - Sir Howard Stringer has stepped down from his roles as CEO and president of Sony. The British figurehead has called it a day after a series of scandals and misfortunes rocked the Japanese company in the last year, with Stringer himself claiming that it had to suffer "everything but toads and pestilence" and blaming the company's poor showing in the mobile phone market on "Mother Nature".

The current chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment, Kazuo Hirai, will become the new president and CEO of the entire organisation on 1 April. He has also been serving under Stringer as representative corporate executive officer and executive deputy president of Sony Corporation.

Hirai was hotly tipped to take over in 2013, when it was expected that Stringer would step down, but the decision has been brought forward by a year:

"Three years ago, I started to work with the Board on succession plans, and in February, 2009 we named a new generation of leaders to be my management team," said Stringer. "Among them was Kaz Hirai, who had distinguished himself through his work in the PlayStation and networked entertainment businesses. Kaz is a globally focused executive for whom technology and the cloud are familiar territory, content is highly valued, and digital transformation is second nature."

The reason for Hirai's appointment becomes clear when you realise the areas Sony wants to focus on in the immediate future: "The path we must take is clear: to drive the growth of our core electronics businesses - primarily digital imaging, smart mobile and game; to turn around the television business; and to accelerate the innovation that enables us to create new business domains," said the new president-to-be.

Sir Howard Stringer will, from June, remain with the company as chairman of the board of directors, replacing Yotaro Kobayashi.

Will this mean a re-focus of attention for Sony? Let us know in the comments below...

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Pic: (CC) jolieodell

Writing by Rik Henderson.