Sony Chairman Stringer to step down in June – 6758 & AAPL

Boston, MA 03/11/2013 (wallstreetpr) – The chairman of SONY CORPORATION(TYO:6758), Howard Stringer, who happened to be the first non-Japanese to lead the firm, has said he will put in his papers in June 2013.

Stringer, 71, will announce his formal retirement from the services of the company at the annual general meeting, he disclosed last week in a statement in New York. One year back, Stringer was succeeded by Kazuo Hirai, 52, as CEO.

When in 2005 he took over as CEO of Sony, the decision surprised many. Stringer could not keep Sony at par with other major competitors in electronics and mobile space where rivals launched products like TVs and cell phones with more features at cheaper prices.

During his tenure as the chairman at Sony, both Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.(KRX:005930) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) grabbed more market share in the mobile space. The efficient marketing strategies of rivals forced Stringer to adopt cost-cutting measures. Sony went on to register a huge loss of ($4.8 billion) in the fiscal year 2011-12.

An analyst at Deutsche Bank AG said, “Considering the poor earnings result last year, he should have stepped down even earlier. His departure means Sony has completed the transition to a new management team. It’s positive for the company.”

Sony spokesman Shiro Kambe has said that Stringer had conveyed CEO Hirai about his retirement plan on phone at the beginning of this year. The company’s board will hold a meeting to discuss suitable replacement of Stringer. But the final decision on the matter will be taken after the annual general meeting in June, he clarified.

“Howard’s achievements as CEO of Sony are innumerable; from breaking down silos and driving ‘Sony United,’ to fundamentally realigning the focus of Sony’s product development,” CEO Hirai said in his statement.

Stringer has said that probably he will be a part of some boards in the healthcare and education sector. But at the same time, he would like to continue as chairman of the American Film Institute, he disclosed.

Sony has been on assets selling spree in New York and Tokyo in order to fine-tune the financial health of the company. Hirai has a target of generating 70 percent revenue and about 85 percent operating profit its games, digital cameras and mobile phones by 2015.

SONY CORPORATION(TYO:6758), Japan’s major consumer-electronics supplier, climbed 1.7 percent to 1,489 yen at 9:41 a.m., Tokyo. The stock has gained 55 percent this year since the weakness in yen has proved good for exporters’ earnings in Japan.

The shares of SONY CORPORATION(TYO:6758) were up by 3.01% and currently trading at JPY1,508.00

The shares of Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) were down by 0.79% and currently trading at $428.37

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