“After years of losing ground to rivals including Apple (AAPL) and Nintendo, the Sony (SNE) board voted today to make Howard Stringer the first non-Japanese CEO of the Tokyo-based consumer electronics and entertainment colossus,” David Lieberman reports for USA Today. “Nobuyuki Idei, left, and successor Howard Stringer on Monday in Tokyo. Sony’s board met in an emergency session where Nobuyuki Idei agreed to step down as CEO and turn the company over to Stringer, 63, who has overseen its U.S.-based movie and music operations.”
Lieberman reports, “The change would take place following a shareholder vote June 22. Stringer was also nominated for a seat on the board of directors… The ascension of Stringer, one of the media industry’s most erudite executives, would have been unthinkable years ago. Japanese companies rarely give such power to foreigners and often protect each other in cartels known as keiretsu. But years of restructurings failed to lift Sony’s consumer electronics business out of its funk… It stuck by its MiniDisc portable music players while consumers flocked to Apple’s iPods. And Nintendo has control of the portable video game market. But the entertainment unit that Stringer oversees has lifted Sony’s fortunes.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Note: In January in Davos, Switzerland, AlwaysOn’s Tony Perkins sat down with Mr. Idei and Sir Howard Stringer* and reported this little exchange:
Perkins: Well, in many ways Sony has always been Steve Jobs’s model for Apple.
Sir Howard: So we are also rivals, and trying to get together would frankly be a waste of time!
Read the full Q&A here.
*Sir Howard received the title of Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours list of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on December 31, 1999.