Sony CEO Howard Stringer steps down

Sony’s first ever non-Japanese CEO Howard Stringer has announced he is to step down as the company prepares for its fourth year of net losses.

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Stringer will step down on 1 April after six years in the role and will be replaced by executive deputy president Kazuo Hirai.

Welsh-born Stringer will stay on as chairman of the electronics giant.

Sony is forecasting a 90 billion yen (£750m) loss for the current financial year, as it struggles to compete with rivals such as Apple and Samsung in the electronics space.

Hirai was recommended to the chief executive role by Stringer, who said his “tough-mindedness and leadership skills” will help to lead Sony’s turnaround strategy, which is thought to include focusing on its core products: cameras, TVs, smartphones and games.

He is currently leading the team integrating Ericsson into the company, following Sony’s estimated £1bn acquisition of the Finnish mobile business.

Hirai says: “The foundations are now firmly in place for the new management team and me to fully leverage Sony’s diverse electronics product portfolio, in conjunction with our rich entertainment assets and growing array of networked services, to engage with our customers around the world in new and exciting ways.”

Sony is due to announce its third quarter results on Thursday (2 February), where it will also give more details as to the reasons behind its management changes.

As well as presiding over four years of losses at Sony, recently Stringer has also had to communicate a global data hack to its PlayStation network and a restructure of its TV division to arrest the department’s losses.

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