Kazuo Hirai will be the new chief executive officer and president of Sony, effective April 1, when he will replace Howard Stringer, the company told the media.

Sony Corp. on Wednesday, said that it chose 51 year old Hirai, a veteran of its PlayStation videogame business, for the positions. Hirai oversees Sony's consumer electronics and videogame divisions. Stringer will remain executive chairman until June, before becoming chairman of the board, according to reports.

Last year was a rough year for Sony, which saw that earnings were on the decline; even worse. The company also experienced PlayStation Network outage.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Hirai, a fluent English speaker who is credited with turning around Sony's unprofitable videogame business, is stepping in at a critical time in Sony's 66-year history. The company is said to be staring down a fourth-straight year in the red and that its stock is near two-decade lows. The Journal also reported that Sony's credit rating was downgraded last month and that the company is struggling to match up with Samsung's the speed and production or Apple's innovation.

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, Hirai said in a statement reviewed by the media. The foundations are now firmly in place for the new management team and me to fully leverage Sony's diverse electronics product portfolio, in conjunction with our rich entertainment assets and growing array of networked services, to engage with our customers around the world in new and exciting ways.