Sony CEO Howard Stringer Sees 16% Pay Cut

Howard Stringer - Getty Portrait Session - 2011
Chris Goodney/Bloomberg/Getty Images

At the conglomerate’s shareholder meeting in Tokyo, Kazuo Hirai, head of the PlayStation and consumer electronics business, played a central role, underscoring his status as the frontrunner to succeed Stringer.

NEW YORK – Sony Corp. chairman and CEO Howard Stringer’s compensation for the fiscal year ended in March declined 16 percent to 345 million yen ($4.27 million) as the entertainment and electronics conglomerate posted its third straight year of losses, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Sony disclosed the compensation details Tuesday when it also held its annual shareholder meeting in Tokyo, which included shareholder complaints about the decline in the company's stock, which is down around 30 percent since the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan, according to the Journal.

One shareholder blamed the stock drop on a loss of trust after the PlayStation Network cyber-attack and suggested Sony replace Stringer to show it is moving in a new direction, the paper reported. Stringer said his "foremost responsibility is to advance the transformation process" and nurture the next-generation of executives at Sony.

In that vein, Kazuo Hirai, head of the PlayStation and consumer electronics business, played a key role at the event, underscoring his status as the frontrunner to succeed Stringer, according to the Journal. He was recently promoted to the role of executive deputy president and giving oversight of the consumer electronics unit in addition to the PlayStation business.

Hirai on Tuesday addressed the conglomerate’s troubled TV business, emphasizing that reversing seven straight years of losses at the unit was the "most important task" for Sony's electronics division. Sony has predicted another year of losses at the TV division for the latest fiscal year.

Hirai said his turnaround plan will include aggressive cost cuts, more efficient operations and an overhaul of the company's product strategy. He said those approaches had also been effective in stopping losses at Sony's PlayStation business. According to the Journal, one shareholder in response to Hirai's presentation said "it finally feels like we've got the ace on the mound."

Stringer's compensation for the fiscal year ended March 30 included 295 million yen in basic pay and 50 million yen in bonuses plus stock options for 500,000 shares, worth 518 million yen, according to the Journal. It said that Hirai's compensation amounted to 101 million yen, down from 110 million yen a year earlier.