Sony Names Kazuo Hirai New CEO

Howard Stringer will remain chairman of the board

Sony named Kazuo Hirai, the head of its core consumer products business, as its new CEO Wednesday. He replaces Howard Stringer, who will remain the company's chairman of the board.

Kazuo's widely expected appointment comes as the company tries to improve sales in its flat-panel TV business and win back customers to Apple. Its Walkman was once synonymous with personal music, but iPods and iPhones have taken its place. The Japanese company has also been hurt by the strong yen, which hurts its overseas earnings.

Also read: Hirai to Replace Stringer

The announcement came a day before the company was to announce fiscal third-quarter earnings. It is expected to project its fourth consecutive year of losses, cutting out Hirai's work for him as he prepares to take over as CEO on April 1.

"Kaz is a globally focused executive," Stringer said in a statement. "I believe his tough-mindedness and leadership skills will be of great benefit to the company and its customers in the months and years ahead. I look forward to helping Kaz in every way I can so that succession leads inevitably to success."