Sony's Howard Stringer adds president title

To oversee reorganization of electronics arm to stem losses

NEW YORK -- Sony Corp. chairman and CEO Howard Stringer is adding the president title and assuming direct oversight of the conglomerate's electronics operations under a major reorganization designed to boost profitability and make different parts of the company work together more closely.

The changes, announced Friday, are effective April 1, will integrate Sony's electronics and video game operations and aim to speed up product development.

Ryoji Chubachi, who had headed Sony's electronics arm until now, will move into the role of vice chairman, assist Stringer and also oversee product safety and quality, as well as Sony's environmental policies.

"Consumers want products that are networked, multi-functional and service-enhanced utilizing open technologies, and user experiences that are rich, shared and, increasingly, green," said Stringer. The changes "will now make it possible for all of Sony's parts to work together to assume a position of worldwide leadership and, together, achieve great things."

As part of the reorganization, Sony is establishing a new Networked Products & Services Group that will include Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE), personal computers, new mobile products and Sony Media Software and Services, which develops a common service platform across Sony products. Kazuo Hirai will head the group as its president and as an executive vp of Sony Corp. He will also continue in his current role as president and group CEO of SCE.

Another new group is the Consumer Products Group, which will include the TV sets, digital imaging, home audio and video businesses. Hiroshi Yoshioka will be its president and also serve as executive deputy president of Sony Corp.

Additionally, two cross-company units - the Common Software and Technology team and the Manufacturing/Logistics/Procurement team - will be charged with ensuring that Sony's products and services communicate seamlessly and reach consumers faster.
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