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Kazuo Hirai takes over Sony's sinking ship

Think your job is challenging? Spare a thought for Sony’s incoming President and CEO Kazuo Hirai, who will take the helm at the troubled Japanese electronics giant on April 1.

Hirai will take charge of a company facing a crisis unlike anything it has experienced in its nearly 70-year history.

It has been years since Sony has produced a new mega-hit device. Its TV business is an albatross that has accumulated losses of $10 billion. The company is on course for a fourth straight annual net loss for the year ending March 31. Efforts to connect its vast entertainment and games content with its huge menu of gadgets began way back in the 1990s -- but are still a work in progress.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom at Sony. What has flourished at the troubled Japanese brand is its PlayStation business, which Hirai ran for five years. His plan is to apply the PlayStation model companywide: extend its network to the rest of the Sony gadget family to create a unified content-delivery platform. Even if not by intent, it is a model close to Apple and its iTunes.

Here is an in-depth look at the challenges facing Hirai has he prepares to take over from departing Sony CEO Howard Stringer.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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