Sony dishes out … promotions

Sony management chaos! Ken Kutaragi, the outspoken Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. president, has been benched. Actually, he’s been “eased” out of his position, and Kaz Hirai of Sony’s US branch will replace him. You may remember Hirai as the man you brought us the famed “Riiiidge Racer” sound bite. Plus, he’s also recognized as the “face” of the PS3 North American launch, which was plagued by a lot of negative press.

Here’s a story from Digital World Tokyo:

In a shock move, the PlayStation godfather, Ken Kutaragi, has been eased out of his position as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) and will be replaced by Kaz Hirai, the head of SCEI’s US division.

Kutaragi loses day-to-to control of the division responsible for the PlayStation lineup, instead becoming chairman and group CEO. The move is likely to be seen as connected to the PS3 launch delays and poor PlayStation Portable (PSP) sales.

So, Kutaragi gets moved to CEO and group chairman, and Kaz Hirai gets a promotion and a ride to Tokyo. Are they trying to get Hirai the hell out of the U.S. by promoting him? Who knows? It certainly looks like that.

Sony put out a pair of press releases mapping out a wave of simultaneous promotions. Here’s one of them. Enjoy (cough).