Sony in new hands amid deepening losses

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Sony's outgoing president and CEO Howard Stringer (R) with his successor Kazuo Hirai (L) at a news conference in Tokyo. Photo - Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Japanese electronics giant Sony suffered another quarterly loss of $2.1 billion for the last quarter of 2011 compared with a profit of $940 million a year earlier. Hammered and beaten down by weak sales and tough competition, Sony anointed Kazou Hirai with the pivotal title of the President and Chief Executive Officer.

Howard Stringer, now former CEO, has officially announced hand over of the reins of the corporation to the man behind the PlayStation, Kazuo Hirzai.

?There is no question 2011 was one of the most trying periods in Sony’s history,? Stringer told in a news conference. Hirzai?s ascension to the throne will not be without trials as Sony must recover from several setbacks it has suffered over the last year. The company once valued at $100 billion, is now valued at $18 billion due to their inability to cope with stiff competition from Apple Inc. and Nintendo DS, the steep ascent of the yen and the embarrassing hacking of the PlayStation network. The earthquakes in Japan and floods in Thailand was just the cherry on the cake.

Sony?s stocks are at its lowest for the first time in two decades with its credit rating downgraded. Hirai, 51, has promised to turn the company around by no longer pursuing the long term goal of selling 40 million television sets a year. ?We need to buckle down,? he said in an interview.

Different Sony business units map out various products individually resulting in an extremely diverse product portfolio and an unhealthy competition between units.

?Sony cannot continue walking on the same path,? Hirai, called Kaz by associates, said at the earnings briefing in Tokyo. ?Sony needs to find new business areas, such as medical. We also need to select and narrow our business portfolio.?

The future of Sony seems to be uncertain as Kazou Hirai claims that not all are on board with his strategic ideas. He, however, remains optimistic that Sony will soon be back on its feet. ?We have bounced back twice, and don?t bet against us bouncing back again?, he vowed.

Source:??Wall Street Journal,BBC, NY Post, The New York Times, The Jakarta Post, Washington Post, Irish Times

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