Sony Shakes Up Execuives Ranks; Stringer New CEO

In an effort to reshape and reinvigorate its U.S. electronics business, Sony Corp. has named former CBS News executive Howard Stringer has it new chairman and chief executive, replacing Nobuyuki Idei who resigned last week.

Mr. Stringer hopes to revive Sonyis lackluster electronics business, which has been challenged by more aggressive competitors such as Apple, with the iPod digital media device, Microsoft and others. The challenge for Mr. Stringer will be to revive Sonyis electronics business, which last quarter accounted for around 70% of revenue, but only 36% of its $1.32 billion in operating income.

In a written comment, Mr. Stringer said he will focus his energies on "energizing the entire Sony Group. I believe the entire global organization is hungry to make this same transition" to stronger financial returns, he said.

The 63-year-old Mr. Stringer spent nearly three decades at CBS News, first as a producer and eventually as head of its news, sports and entertainment divisions. He was responsible for the hiring of late night talk show host David Letterman and quickly became well known as a successful media executive.

He was first hired to head Sony Corp. of America in 1997. Under Mr. Stringer, Sony streamlined its movie and music businesses, slashing jobs and finding its new direction. During its fiscal first quarter ending in December of 2005, Sonyis movie business recorded operating profit of US$178 million, or 13% of Sonyis overall profitability.

Mr. Stringer will work primarily out of London and New York, the company said.