Stringer axes Ryoji Chubachi – declares himself Emperor of Sony

Stringer in front as his predecessor fades into the background
Daylife/Getty Images

Sony chief executive Sir Howard Stringer has won a decisive battle in his quest to rebuild Sony as a global consumer electronics superpower with the announcement that he will replace the firm’s president, Ryoji Chubachi.

The surprise move, which leaves Stringer firmly in control as Sony braces itself for its first operating loss for 14 years, mirrors executive shake-ups at other major corporations hit hard by the collapse in global demand for cars and consumer electronics.

Stringer, the 67-year-old Welshman who already holds the positions of chief executive and chairman, said the reorganisation “is designed to transform Sony into a more innovative, integrated and agile global company with its next generation of leadership firmly in place”.

Today’s shake-up will consolidate Stringer’s position as the firm attempts to ride out the financial storm…

Stringer announced the creation of two new business groups, headed by younger executives, to break down the “silos” that have prevented full integration of the company’s hardware and software, and to devise “cool new products” that will appeal to digital-savvy young people around the world.

“Silo” is one of those magic new critical terms guaranteed to make bankers happy.

The “epoch” of Stringer’s rule has seen R&D closed down and many of the bright designers and engineers who could devise “cool new products” looking for jobs in competing firms.

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