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No New U.S. Chief Planned for Sony

Mar 14, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Sony Corp. will not name a new head of United States operations when Sir Howard Stringer officially becomes chairman and CEO of the consumer electronics giant. Sony will instead use the opportunity to further streamline the management ranks of the Japanese company, a source familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Stringer last week was tapped to replace outgoing CEO Nobuyuki Idei as Sony’s chief executive, tasking the executive responsible for the better-performing U.S. operations with the responsibility of jump-starting a company that has stalled in recent years. Pending shareholder approval, Mr. Stringer should officially get the job in June.

The move is notable on several levels. Mr. Stringer, born in Wales but a U.S. citizen since 1985, joins a small club of foreign-born executives running Japanese companies. In addition, Mr. Stringer, a former CBS executive, has no engineering background, unlike Sony’s previous chief executives. Sony said Mr. Stringer, who does not speak Japanese, will manage the company from both New York and Tokyo.