Sony Corporation will be left without its chairman, Howard Stringer, in the near future. He announced an intention to resign in June 2013, after the annual meeting of shareholders. The successor will be announced immediately after his resignation. However, such personnel changes do not mean much for the company.
The first-ever head of the Japanese corporation, an American of Welsh descent Howard Stringer, joined the company during quite a problematic period in its development. In 2005, Sony's competitors, especially Apple and Samsung, were giving the company hard times. When Stringer came to the company, that was in fact falling apart, he managed to strengthen Sony's position in the gaming industry, as well as the music and film industries, said Kommersant-Online.
In addition, as noted by current CEO Kazuo Hirai, the victory of Blu-ray over HD-DVD (developed by Toshiba) became an important achievement of the Welsh American. It was under Stringer, when Sony completed the acquisition of Ericsson's share in Sony Ericsson joint venture to develop the production of mobile devices in the future. According to Hirai, this activity will be the key one for Sony in the future.
Stringer announced his retirement on Friday in New York, during his speech to the Japanese community. On Sunday, Sony confirmed the information from Tokyo. It was said that Howard Stringer became the first foreign president and executive director for the Japanese company. In 2009, he was also appointed for the position of the president of the company, but in April 2012 gave both posts to Hirai, who previously supervised Sony Computer Entertainment, and chaired the Sony administration.
It is planned that after Stringer's resignation, Sony will continue the reorganization to improve profitability and business optimization. According BFM.ru, the Japanese company has recently announced the sale of its Tokyo office (Sony City Osaki) to a group of investors. To crown it all, it was reported that the corporation was planning to sell its chemical production, a share in display-making joint ventures and headquarters in New York.
The fiscal year will end for Sony on March 31, 2013. The company expects a net profit of 20 billion yen (about $215 million). Sony's net losses in October-December dropped to 10.8 billion yen (115 million dollars), compared with losses of 159 billion yen in the same period a year earlier.
Stringer, as the head of Sony, was serving in the company during not the best years of its life. From 2005, the capitalization of the company decreased by 60 percent. To add more fuel to the fire, the company has not been able to avoid losses during the last four years. The company lost its leading position in the TV market, giving way to South Korean company Samsung. The Japanese giant also failed to make competition to U.S.-based Apple and Samsung in the production of smartphones and tablets. The company also suffered considerable losses over the declining demand on televisions and other types of electronic equipment. Sony has not been able to produce anything similar to its legendary Walkman for years.
Thus, the loss of Stringer is unprincipled for the company: Sony has been bringing balance to deficit for the fourth year in a row. In the current financial year, the company is going to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide. This will amount to about six percent of the total number of employees of the corporation in dozens of countries.
The entire electronics industry of Japan experiences severe problems now - mostly due to the fact that it loses competition to South Korean competitors in the world market of TV-sets.
Stringer said that he was going to work in the field of education and arts. One can say that the world is going to see a redistribution of spheres of influence in international business. Apple has been losing its leadership in this world, while Samsung and Google have been getting increasingly more popular among consumers. Sony may find itself left in the basket.