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"In the future we don't need one legal music board or one movie board but maybe one board for American management."
——Sony Chairman/CEO Nobuyuki Idei
SONY PLANNING
MANAGEMENT OVERHAUL
Company Likely to Disband Separate Management Boards at Sony Music, Sony Pictures

Sony is planning a radical overhaul of its global management structure to help integrate its electronics, entertainment and games operations, the Financial Times reports.

The company is likely to disband the separate management boards of Sony Music and Sony Pictures Entertainment, the two main arms of its entertainment operations, as part of the restructuring, the paper said.

Chairman/CEO Nobuyuki Idei said the company was finalizing a "regional empowerment" drive to create three new hubs for managing Sony's operations, which employ 168,000 people around the world.

"In the future we don't need one legal music board or one movie board but maybe one board for American management," said Idei.

Separate hubs will be created in Europe, with joint headquarters likely in London and Berlin, and in Asia around Tokyo and Shanghai, according to the Financial Times.

The move marks the latest attempt by Sony to streamline decision-making and extract synergy savings from its electronics manufacturing and entertainment content businesses.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Idei said the new hub-structure would help transform Sony from a traditional manufacturer of audio-visual appliances and producer of entertainment into a supplier of broadband services and networks.

The move follows a shake-up of group management at Sony headquarters in Tokyo last month and a strengthening of its corporate governance functions. Idei said the changes were part of a strategy to "improve the corporate architecture and prepare for succession at Sony."

Senior executives said the three new regional hubs in Asia, Europe and the Americas would clear the way for younger managers to be promoted to the top. In the past, such promotions have been hampered by lifetime employment rules in Japan.

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