With Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on his way out, CES taps Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai for show’s opening keynote

With Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on his way out, CES taps Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai for show’s opening ...

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today announced Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai will be delivering the opening morning “Tech Titans” keynote address at the 2014 iteration of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Next year’s CES will take place between January 7 and January 10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hirai’s address is slated for 8:30 AM on Tuesday, January 7 in The Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom. It will begin immediately after the annual “State of the Industry Address” by CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro.

“Sony is a global brand synonymous with innovation and cutting-edge technology,” Shapiro said in a statement. “There is no better way to kick off the world’s greatest innovation event than a keynote from one of the leading brands in the industry, bringing content and technology together to transform the way we live, work and play. We are thrilled to welcome Kaz Hirai to the 2014 CES keynote stage and are excited to hear his insight surrounding the next generation of consumer technology.”

For years now, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has kicked off CES. In August, however, he announced his retirement from the company, and CEA is still looking for a solid replacement.

The last CES keynote Ballmer delivered was in 2012. Earlier this year, Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs opened up the show, although Ballmer still made a surprise appearance to help him out.

It’s not clear if Hirai will be surprised by Ballmer on stage, or if Jacobs will make an appearance. Both situations seem unlikely, given Microsoft and Sony’s rivalry and Jacobs’ lack of CES history.

Nevertheless, both men will likely be at the show in some caliber. Whether they will be among the first on stage is up for debate, but both will likely want to show off their companies at some point. We’ll be there to see what they have up their respective sleeves.

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