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Japanese electronics giant stuns market with loss as firm promotes PlayStation boss to head of the company.

Sony unveils $2.9 billion loss, replaces CEO

Struggling Electronics giant Sony is to replace current CEO Howard Stringer with Kazuo Hirai, the man credited with the rival of Sony’s PlayStation videogames business.

Welsh-born Howard Stringer has been in the top job since 2005 but the change of guard comes as Sony is expected to lose an astonishing $2.9 billion as the firm’s TV sales went into free fall.

Incoming chief Hirai has been president of Sony Computer Entertainment since 2006 and now faces the daunting task of a major shake up to get the Japanese electronics giant back on track and competing afresh with Korean rivals Samsung and LG.

The strong Japanese currency has hit a number of Japanese electronics giants hard, not helped by further natural disasters.

Analysts were expecting Sony to announce a $1.7 billion loss so $2.9 billion came as something of a shock and sent Sony stock lower despite a general rally of the Nikkei.

"The path we must take is clear: to drive the growth of our core electronics businesses – primarily digital imaging, smart mobile and game; to turn around the television business; and to accelerate the innovation that enables us to create new business domains," said the incoming Sony chief.

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