Sony Chairman Howard Stringer Faces Angry Shareholders

18 REP News Howard Stringer Kazuo Hirai
Donna Ward/Getty Images; Toru Yamanaka/Getty Images

CEO Kazuo Hirai defends him at Sony's annual meeting and reiterates his focus on turning around the company's electronics business.

Sony Corp. chairman Sir Howard Stringer had to put up with criticism from frustrated shareholders at the conglomerate's annual meeting in Tokyo Thursday.

Some of the more than 9,000 shareholders who showed up to the meeting asked why Stringer should be allowed to stay with the company, pointing to a record loss in the latest fiscal year, The Independent reported.

Stringer, who has dropped the CEO title to Kazuo Hirai, cited the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and floods in Thailand as unexpected events that disrupted production and sales.

Hirai defended his chairman, telling the shareholder meeting that he "needed the advice and support of Stringer," according to the Independent.

The meeting approved the re-appointment of all Sony directors, including Stringer.

Hirai also reiterated that he will focus on turning around the conglomerate's struggling electronics business. "We take the problem Sony's electronics business is facing very seriously, and we feel a sense of crisis," the paper quoted him as saying.

Sony has said it will cut jobs to help it return to a profit for the fiscal year ending March 2013.

Twitter: @georgszalai