Sony's Kaz Hirai to step up as president as early as April (updated)

Nikkei is reporting that Sony will be promoting current Executive Deputy President Kazuo "Kaz" Hirai to president as soon as April, while Howard Stringer is expected to remain chairman and CEO of the company. As you may recall, Sony started its search for a new president as far back as November 2010, and with Kaz's two promotions last year (to Executive Deputy President in April and to Sony Computer Entertainment Chairman in September), it isn't surprising that he's the chosen one to pick up some of Sir Howard's work. It'll be a while before we see the consequences of this promotion, and anything can happen between now and the board meeting as early as next month to seal the deal; but here's hoping that under Kaz, Sony will go easy on all these new memory card formats while it further unifies its various groups within the corporation.

Update: Bloomberg has received a brief statement from Sony clarifying that the board has not yet made a decision on this promotion, which isn't really a denial of the plan considering the final board meeting has yet to take place.