Shares of Sony have lost half its value in the past year. The company was hit on all fronts, drop in stock price, market share and natural disasters.
Maria Bartiromo spoke exclusively with CEO Howard Stringer about all these issues and about speculation of management changes at Sony.
On Friday, the Nikkei Business Daily reported that Kazuo Hirai will take over as Sony President, leaving Stringer as Chairman and CEO. Stringer responded, “It hasn't been approved yet. The succession planning in that arena is my responsibility and, as you know, I started as Chairman and CEO, and I'm simply returning to that.” When Maria pushed Stringer if this will take in effect in April, Stringer said “we need a board meeting for that.”
“Glass Half Empty, Glass Half Full" Scenario
2011 was a tough year for Sony with the stock down 50%. Natural disasters struck; Japan’s earthquake and floods in Thailand had a huge impact on Sony’s suppliers. Sony also lost ground to competitors like Samsung and Panasonic on the TV front. Stringer sees it as “glass half empty, glass half full” scenario. Stringer said Sony is still facing the reality of shortages. But now, “everything's cleared, the decks are cleared,” Stringer said. “We've done the Sony-Ericsson deal. We've moved away from the Samsung joint venture. So we think we're now ready to concentrate on a new year. Unless meteorites shower on us, I think we'll be back in business again, and we're rather looking forward to it. This is kind of a kickoff to a brand-new year,” Stringer added.