Kazuo “Kaz” Hirai

Publishing executive

When Hirai was promoted to CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment last year, it was a grim time for the conglom’s storied videogame biz, as the disastrous launch of the PlayStation 3 had sent it tumbling from first to third place.

But Hirai has focused on product in the past year, doing everything from cutting the PS3’s price to investing in exclusive games like “Little Big Planet” and taking advantage of the victory of Blu-ray over HD DVD to boost his console’s appeal. The result has been solid sales growth that Sony says will finally put its vidgame unit back in the black this fiscal year.

Now Hirai is looking beyond games and hoping new products like a video download service for the PS3 and handheld PSP will start to transform his business.

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