Sony has appointed one of its presidents to oversee product quality and safety following the disastrous battery recall of recent weeks.

It is the first time such a high-level member of staff has taken the position at the company and indicates how much the situation has damaged the company, with both Dell and Apple - two of the best-known computer companies - being forced to recall millions of batteries.

Makoto Kogure, who was president of Sony's TV division, will have to rapidly rebuild confidence in the company, although the company claimed the battery recall wasn't the only reason for his appointment.

"Obviously the batteries are an issue but it's not intended that he will focus on batteries and batteries alone," said the spokesman. "It's something we've been wanting to upgrade for some time and batteries will be one of the responsibilities."

Dell recalledup to 4.1 million laptop batteries because of a potential fire hazard on 15 August. Then on 24 August, Apple said it was recalling 1.8 million batteries for the same reason. Sony has estimated the recalls will cost it between ¥20 billion and ¥30 billion (£90 million to £135 million).