Kutaragi loses Sony presidency

Kaz Hirai steps up to the mantle

Ken Kutaragi - the outspoken president of Sony Computer Entertainment - is being shifted out of the crucial role as part of a boardroom re-shuffle, in a move already being connected with the PS3's rocky road to market. Kutaragi will become chairman and group CEO, with the President position landing in the lap of current Sony Computer Entertainment US boss Kazuo Hirai.

The move will see the man known as the 'godfather' of the PlayStation losing the day to day control of the PlayStation operation, with that somewhat poisoned chalice passing to Hirai forthwith. Kutaragi has come under increasing pressure in recent months with the quantities of PS3 shipments proving insufficient to meet even US and Japanese demand, let alone the long-abandoned European launch. He was blamed for the loss of several PS3 exclusives such as GTA IV, whilst he has at times appeared arrogant in face of concerns over the new console and in the face of stiff competition.

If all this weren't enough, Kutaragi has also witnessed the slide in the standing of the PSP, Sony's lack of original titles and overall lackluster support being blamed for the DS surging ahead in the handheld market.

We'll keep you posted on whether Hirai will be ringing the changes upon his appointment, though no doubt we haven't heard the last of Ken Kutaragi, crucial as he remains to Sony's PlayStation division. More soon.

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