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Sony Names Game Unit President

Ken Kutaragi will remain CEO and become chairman of the division.

In an attempt to strengthen the management team at its Tokyo headquarters,


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elevated the chief of its American operations to president and chief operating officer of its video-game unit.

Sony said Thursday that Kazuo 'Kaz' Hirai, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America, will be president and Group COO of Sony Computer Entertainment, beginning Friday.

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Jack Tretton, co-COO and executive vice-president of Sony America, will now take over as president of the company's American video-game division, stepping into Hirai's shoes.

Ken Kutaragi, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, dropped his title of president and will take the additional role of chairman.

Shares of Sony were down 21 cents, or 0.5%, to $39.30.

The change is a step up for Hirai, who has effectively managed Sony's gaming business in the U.S. He joined Sony America in 1995 and has overseen the introduction of the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 platforms in North America.

"Sony Computer in Tokyo was stretched pretty thin from a management perspective," said Evan Williams, an analyst with Pacific-Crest Securities, which does not have a banking relationship with Sony. "Getting Kaz there will balance that and will give him an opportunity to exercise greater managerial control."