Sony Corp shareholders pressed its chief executive for a response to hedge fund Third Point's proposal for a partial spinoff of its profitable entertainment arm but Kazuo Hirai pleaded for patience as management reviews the bold plan.
Daniel Loeb, the billionaire hedge fund manager of Third Point and Sony's top shareholder, wants the electronics empire to sell to the public as much as one-fifth of its entertainment units and use the proceeds to bolster its struggling hardware divisions.
(Read More: Sony Board Will Review Loeb Spinoff Proposal: CEO)
"This is a very big proposal aimed at Sony's important business," Hirai told more than 10,000 shareholders who gathered for Thursday's annual general meeting in Tokyo. "I understand this to be a very important proposal ... It not only involves what Sony is today but also what Sony should be in the future."
Loeb's suggestion, likely to stay on the radar for months, strikes at the heart of whether Sony remains both a consumer electronics maker and a provider of music, movies and TV programmes.
(Read More: Third Point Lifts Sony Stake, Urges Spin Off)
"Our entertainment division will remain an important part of Sony's business," Hirai said. "The board will continue to discuss Third Point's proposals and we will reach an appropriate decision."