Sony has announced that current CEO Sir Howard Stringer will be replaced by Kazuo Hirai from 1 April.

Currently acting as vice president, Hirai will also take over the role of president while Stringer keeps his hand in as chairman.

The CEO two-step comes as Sony struggles to find a footing in today's crowded tech marketplace while profits slide ever downwards.

With the PS4 not likely to land until 2013 and televisions continuing their slide down the value chain, disappointing tablet efforts and a renewed focus on smartphones after buying out Ericsson, Sony seems to be flailing around looking for its niche.

No more Stringer Bell jokes

But charismatic Hirai has done good things with Sony's PlayStation line and Sony has had him pegged as the horse to back for some time now.

"As challenging as times are for Sony now, were it not for the strong leadership of Sir Howard Stringer these past seven years, we would have been in a much more difficult position," said Hirai, going on to outline Sony's focus on digital imaging, smartphones, gaming and television.

As for Sir Howard, he went a bit Shredder on us: "It was my honour to recommend [Hirai] to the Board for the positions of President and CEO, because he is ready to lead, and the time to make this change is now."

From Reuters, MCV