Sony chairman Howard Stringer will retire from the company in June, according to reports. Stringer, who served as CEO of Sony from June 2005 until 1 April 2012, was the first non-Japanese executive to run the consumer electronics giant.
Stringer, speaking Friday at a meeting of the Japan Society in New York, said he would step down from his position as board chairman at Sony's annual shareholder meeting in June, the date of which has not been set yet.
The 71-year-old Welshman did not offer a view of his future plans beyond saying he would stay on in existing positions like his chairmanship of the American Film Institute, according to the Financial Times.
"A new world is opening up for me. That will allow me to move forward with new opportunities I've been presented with lately," Stringer was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.
Stringer is credited with implementing a more collaborative corporate culture during his tenure as CEO of Sony, known previous to his leadership for the "divisional silos" across its many business interests including televisions, PCs, game consoles, media and film, semiconductors, networking equipment, and more, the Financial Times noted.
But under Stringer, Sony struggled to keep pace with consumer electronics rivals like Samsung and Apple, while also facing tough price competition from Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers of televisions. At the very end of his tenure as CEO, Sony's otherwise successful game console business suffered a devastating, month-long outage of its PlayStation Network as a result of hacker attacks.
When he stepped down last April, Stringer was succeeded as president and CEO by Kazuo Hirai.
"Howard's achievements as CEO of Sony are innumerable, from breaking down silos and driving 'Sony United,' to fundamentally realigning the focus of Sony's product development," Hirai said in a company statement cited by Bloomberg.
The Japanese tech giant said Stringer's replacement as board chairman won't be selected until after the June shareholder meeting.
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