Sony shifts executives at computer divisions

Hirai new president, Kutaragi will become chairman

TOKYO — Sony’s vidgame division is giving a boost to its top leadership.

Kaz Hirai, prexy of Sony Computer Entertainment America, will take over as prexy of parent unit Sony Computer Entertainment, which oversees the PlayStation business worldwide. Current SCE topper Ken Kutaragi, regarded as “the father of the PlayStation,” will become chairman while retaining his title as group CEO.

Replacing Hirai as SCEA prexy is Jack Tretton, SCEA exec veep and co-chief operating officer.

Since joining SCEA in 1995 and becoming prexy/chief operating officer in 1999, Hirai has played an instrumental role in making PlayStation and PlayStation 2 the biggest-selling game platforms in the North American market.

He faces a much tougher challenge, however, with the PlayStation 3, which has been marred by delays and limited production leading to its recent launch.

(Ben Fritz in Hollywood contributed to this report.)