Updated June 29
NEW MEDIA TRENDS’ Christopher Lacroix reports
Sony has shuffled its executives after an embarrassing annual general meeting in Tokyo.
Akira Sato, chair of gaming, and Ken Kutaragi, honorary chair, will retire. Kazuo Hirai has been promoted to Sato’s position. Andrew House has been advanced to president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.
Sony shareholders called for CEO Howard Stringer’s resignation at the shareholder meeting. Stringer announced he will stay on.
On the defensive, Stringer blamed his company’s problems on an age of cyber-terrorism. He suggested the solution rests with governments.
The electronics company is still picking up the pieces after it was rocked by an earthquake and a hack, in which 77 million users had their personal information stolen. The theft prompted Sony to shut down its Playstation Network. The company has been hit by other intrusions, including the recent publishing of user data from the Sony Pictures website.
“We believe that [Sony] first became the subject of attack because we tried to protect our IP, our content, in this case videogames,” Stringer said.
It lost 259.59 billion yen or $3.21 billion (U.S.) in the fiscal year ended March 31, the worst performance in 16 years, its financial reports show, contrary to claims presently circulating in the media that the company was profitable.
The company is betting on a resurgence of virtual-reality headgear with a continued focus on 3-D technology. It hopes to turn a profit this fiscal year.
Sony cut Stringer’s pay by 15 percent to 345 million yen or $4.3 million (U.S.). The company also reduced Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai’s salary by 9 million yen or $111,000 (U.S.).