Sony's CEO Howard Stringer appeared alongside his incoming replacement at a press conference in Tokyo.
Kazuo Hirai, who currently heads the company's core consumer products division, will take over in April, at the start of the new fiscal year.
Stringer's term will have lasted seven years.
"Now more than ever it's time to bring about generational change, and I am happy to be an agent of change, and thrilled that the symbol and reality of it will be my friend and colleague, Kaz Hirai".
The two appeared side-by-side for perhaps the last time in Tokyo, after the company announced its third-quarter earnings.
Sony now expects to lose nearly three billion dollars in the current fiscal year through March.
The company booked several one-time accounting charges, but also saw sales fall in its core consumer division, where it swung into a deep loss from a year earlier.
Hirai's main challenge is Sony's TV business, which has been in the red for eight years, but Hirai said the company no intentions to quit the business.
Howard Stringer, who led the company for seven years, including deep losses through his last four, faced repeated questions about his legacy.
"It would be nice if there were no earthquakes, no floods, no hackers, no anything, but on our own skills, we can get the company back to the targets we've already issued, which is five percent, and we'll be back. And when we do come back, I'll come back to this press conference and address one or two of you reporters again."
For IDG News Service, this is Jay Alabaster in Tokyo.