Sony Appoints Foreigner as New CEO
Sony Corp. has just named Howard Stringer as its chairman pending shareholder approval. This move marks the first time a foreigner will head a major Japanese electronics firm.
The proposal was approved at the Board of Directors' Meeting held today. Effective June 22, subject to approval at Sony Corporation's Ordinary General Shareholder's Meeting that day.
Sir Howard Stringer (currently Chairman & CEO Sony Corporation of America, Corporate Executive Officer, Vice Chairman and COO Sony Entertainment Business Group) will assume the position of Chairman, Group CEO and Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Sony Corporation. Sir Howard will run Sony's overall group business operations on a global basis from headquarters in both New York and Tokyo. In this new position, he will also continue in his role as the head of the Entertainment Business Group and head of Sony Corporation of America.
The current management team led by Mr. Nobuyuki Idei, Representative Corporate Executive Officer, Chairman and Group CEO has implemented an effective reallocation of group-wide resources and promotion of cross-border alliances within the Sony Group. This has resulted in the significant strengthening of the entertainment content businesses, the solidifying of the mobile phone business, the development of the next generation semiconductor chip, and the integration and expansion of the financial services business.
According to Sony, this is a pivotal year for Sony Corporation, and this new structure will enable the company to streamline its operation, and provide a more cohesive focus for operating its businesses around the world in a proactive and strategic manner.
"Since I became President in 2000, there have been radical changes in the global business environment. However, I firmly believe that the current management team has laid the foundations for future growth. Our mobile phone business has been revitalized through the establishment of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (SEMC) and we have created a stronger and more efficient production, sales and distribution platform." says former President Kunitake Ando.
"I am delighted to be joining Dr. Chubachi, Mr. Ihara and the extremely talented global management team to lead Sony Corporation. Sony has an unparalleled legacy of boldness, innovation and leadership around the world. Together we look forward to joining our twin pillars of engineering and technology with our commanding presence in entertainment and content creation to deliver the most advanced devices and forms of entertainment to the consumer. I am grateful to Mr. Idei and to Mr. Ando for the confidence they have shown in me, and the Sony Board of Directors for their support, and to the many talented executives throughout this organization who have shown their desire to lead and to innovate. We have clearly demonstrated in our US operations that we can achieve significant cross-company efficiencies, and at the same time deliver both extraordinary quality and record returns. I believe the entire global organization is hungry to make this same transition, and all of us in senior management are committed to achieving that goal." say Sir Howard Stringer.
According to the AP, Stringer is a native of Wales with dual US citizenship and former CBS president, and has overseen Sony's entertainment business. He replaces Nobuyuki Idei, who has led the Tokyo-based company for a decade. Foreign executives at major Japanese companies are still extremely rare. Determined to break with its past, Sony Corp. tapped a foreigner as its chief executive and vowed to turn around its lagging electronics sector by linking it with its entertainment businesses.
Thanks to Benjamin S. Armen for the tip.