Sony’s CEO was mocked by shareholders at a tumultuous AGM that came amidst a time of increased concerned that it is failing to stay competitive in many sectors and isn’t offering shareholders enough value.
It’s reported by The Register that shareholders heckled Kazuo Hirai at the company’s annual general meeting and the CEO tried in vain to quieten down those that were mocking him as he denied that the firm will be splitting or listing the entertainment arm of the business.
That was one of the questions put to him by shareholders that are unhappy at how the company has evolved and the fact that many of its competitors, such as LG and Samsung, have given it a torrid time in its traditional stronghold markets such as televisions.
Hirai wants to keep full ownership of the unit as it creates an important synergy across the entire company whereas Daniel Loeb, an investor that declared an interest last year, stated that spinning it off would unlock shareholder value.
The CEO also recognised that Sony hasn’t responded fast enough to tough market conditions in the electronics market and this part of the business still hasn’t reached profitability despite the fact Hirai promised it would when he took the headship two years ago.
Hirai’s reorganisation involves getting rid of its Vaio brand and creating an independent company to manage its TV arm and 2014 was supposed to be the year that the company became more stable.
During the meeting shareholders did re-elect Hirai and a number of his fellow senior executives as well as signing off on a raft of compensation plans and the proof will be in the pudding come next year’s AGM when shareholders are unlikely to be as patient with the CEO.