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“The next level is to prepare for the truly digital revolution.”

STRINGER IS THE NEW BIG CHEESE AT SONY CORP.

Sir Howard Sets a Precedent by Becoming the First non-Japanese to Hold Top Spot
STRINGER BECOMES THE BIG CHEESE AT SONY CORP.

Meet the new boss--distinctly not the same as the old boss.

The board of the Sony Corporation has named its Vice Chairman and CEO of its U.S. operations, Sir Howard Stringer, the company’s new Chairman and CEO, marking the first time Sony as a whole will be in non-Japanese executive hands.

Stringer, who is Welsh, replaces Nobuyuki Idei, who has been in charge for 10 years and was the first non-engineer to run Sony. Also moving up is Executive Deputy President Ryoji Chubachi, who takes over the President’s chair from Kunitake Ando and will run Sony’s troubled consumer electronics unit.

The promotion of Stringer, who joined Sony in 1997, bypasses PlayStation exec Ken Kutargi, thought to be a leading candidate for the Chairman/CEO job. Stringer is credited with turning around Sony’s entertainment businesses at a time when Peter Guber and John Peters had cost the company billions at Columbia Pictures and then-head of Sony Music Thomas D. Mottola reportedly refused to fly to Japan to meet with company execs.

Stringer hired Credit Suisse vet Rob Wiesenthal (now CFO) in 2000 and SBMG head Andrew Lack to run the music division in 2003. He also installed Michael Lynton as head of Sony Pictures.

“The next level is to prepare for the truly digital revolution,” Stringer told the Wall Street Journal recently. “We’ve got to get the relationship between content and devices seamlessly managed.” Despite recent rumors that Lack was being groomed for Stringer’s job, the Journal reports that Sony is not expected to replace Stringer as head of Sony’s U.S. operations.

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