Summary Box: Hirai to replace Stringer as Sony CEO

LEADERSHIP CHANGE: Kazuo Hirai, who leads Sony Corp.’s core consumer products business, will replace Howard Stringer as CEO and president April 1. Stringer will remain chairman of the board.

THE BACKDROP: Sony has been fighting to regain its image as a global leader in gadgets as consumers increasingly turn to rival offerings such as the iPod and iPhone from Apple Inc. It has also fallen behind in liquid-crystal displays for TVs to South Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co.

ABOUT HIRAI: Hirai has led the company’s gaming business in the past. He will be Sony’s youngest CEO.