Sony has recently announced that chairman Kazuo Hirai is stepping down as Computer Entertainment chairman and representative director. Instead, Hirai will be a part-time member of the board and will be replaced by Andrew House who will act as representative director, president, and group CEO of the Computer Entertainment division.
No reason was given for the change but after Sony’s financial struggles, it comes as no surprise that changes are being made.“Once an icon of Japan Inc. with its portable Walkman music player and Trinitron TV, Sony reported the worst loss in its 66-year corporate history for the business year ended March with red ink of 457 billion yen ($5.7 billion). Profitability was battered by factors outside Sony’s control such as last year’s tsunami disaster in northeastern Japan, flooding in Thailand, the global economic slowdown and a soaring yen. But most critically, Sony stumbled in the face of powerful, often cheaper, rivals such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co., which dominates the global TV market. Sony has lost money for eight straight years in its TV business. Sony’s glamor image is fading next to Apple Inc.’s iPod, iPhone and iPad, now bigger hits not only globally but also in Sony’s Japanese home market, displaying the kind of ingenuity that was once prized as Sony’s.”
Ouch. Looks like Sony needs to do some catching up.