Sir Howard Stringer, Sony’s CEO (and a current CEO on Liberum’s CEO Watch list), has in dramatic fashion exerted his power. In a management shakeup, Sir Howard ousted Ryoji Chubachi as president. Chubachi, a well known Japanese executive who has been in charge of the company’s Playstation 3 and Bravia televisions, will be reassigned to a new position as part of Stringer’s ongoing reorganization. According to a story by Hiroshi Suzuki and Masaki Kondo for Bloomberg,
(Stringer) took control of the main electronics business as the maker of the PlayStation 3 and Bravia televisions faces a record loss.
… Chubachi, 61, will become vice chairman in charge of product safety, quality and environmental issues.
The reassignment of Chubachi, a 32-year veteran at Sony, may help clear the way for Stringer to reorganize the company as the global recession erodes sales.
Stringer has finally begun to take forceful action to get Sony back on track as an innovative firm. He seems to understand that the firm needs to get itself out of areas in which it is no longer competitive, even when those areas at one time were considered the mainstay of the company’s business. Making these changes have been complicated by the cultural and business conventions that Japanese business particularly in Japan follow. Stringer has finally broken through a bit. According to a story by Hiroko Tabuchi for the New York Times Stringer was quoted saying,
“We have two distinct challenges facing us,” Mr. Howard said at a news conference. “The first is the global slowdown, which force us to make significant adjustments. The second challenge is the evolution of our competitive environment. New competitors springing out everywhere.”
… “Have I broken down all the silo walls? No,” Mr. Stringer said. “Are they very strong and very thick? Yes. But we’ve broken down a lot of them. Our goal is to continue to do that.”
We will have to wait and see how the Japanese react to Stringer’s moves and what elese he has up his sleeve as he continues to try and reorganize the firm. Stringer’s challenges remain large and complicated.