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Stringer Shakes Up Sony Management, Consolidates Control

Stringer Shakes Up Sony Management, Consolidates Control

Responding to tough economic conditions and nosediving sales figures, Sony head Howard Stringer has announced (PDF) a shakeup that will see the company reformed around two main groups, and re-align Sony’s top brass so that Stringer will have comprehensive control over the electronics giant. The changes will go into effect April 1 and install Stringer as president of the company in addition to his existing roles and chairman and chief executive. Current Sony president Ryoji Chubachi shift into the role of vice-chairman, assisting Stringer on quality, safety, and environmental concerns.

“Consumers want products that are networked, multi-functional, and service-enhanced utilizing open technologies and user experiences that are rich, shared, and, increasingly, green,” said Stringer in a statement. “This reorganization is designed to transform Sony into a more innovative, integrated and agile global company with its next generation of leadership firmly in place.”

Sony will be reorganized into two groups: Network Products and Services and New Consumer Products. Network Products and Services will combine Sony’s personal computer business, Walkman media players, and PlayStation gaming businesses with PlayStation Network into a single unit headed by PlayStation’s Kaz Hirai. New Consumer Products will include Sony’s Bravia television business, along with digital cameras, home video, and video products businesses—it will be headed up by Hiroshi Yoshioka, the current head of Sony’s TV business.

The reorganization will also shift Sony’s CFO Katsumi Ihara out of the main company and off the board of directors to head up subsidiary Sony Financial Holdings.

Last month, Sony lowered its earnings expectations for the fiscal quarter ending in March by about 14 percent, due to the global economic slowdown and the comparative strength of the Japanese yen.

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