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Sony Corp. Moves Players in New Management Structure

Sony Corp. has created a new management structure designed to expand upon its core strengths as a global electronics, entertainment and technology company with Howard Stringer at the helm to unify the companys divisions.

Stringer (chairman/ceo of Sony Corp. of America, corporate executive officer/vice chairman/coo Sony Entertainment Business Group) will become chairman, group ceo and representative corporate executive officer, Sony Corp. The Welsh-born exec, who joined Sony in 1997 as president of its U.S. operations, will be the first non-Japanese speaking chief of Sony without an engineering background. He replaces outgoing chairman Nobuyuki Idei.

Stringer will run Sony's overall group business operations on a global basis from headquarters in both New York City and Tokyo, while continuing in his role as the head of the Entertainment Business Group and head of Sony Corp. of America.

Dr. Ryoji Chubachi (currently ceo/executive deputy president/coo of MSNC and EMCS) will assume the position of representative ceo/president of Sony Corp. and ceo of the Electronics Business Group of the company, with overall responsibility for Sony's electronics businesses worldwide.

Katsumi Ihara (currently ceo/executive deputy president/group cfo) will assume the role of representative ceo/executive deputy president/group cfo, Sony Corp., overseeing financial matters and support Stringer and Dr. Chubachi in overall corporate strategy and resource allocation.

The outgoing management team, led by Idei, is credited for implementing an effective reallocation of group-wide resources and promotion of cross-border alliances within the Sony Group. This has resulted in the significant strengthening of the entertainment content businesses, the solidifying of the mobile phone business, the development of the next generation semiconductor chip, and the integration and expansion of the financial services business.

The changes were approved at the board of directors' meeting held March 6 and are subject to approval at the companys shareholders meeting on June 22 in Tokyo, but this management transition will begin effective immediately. The three will also be submitted as board member candidates to be formally appointed at the shareholders meeting.

Members of the board to resign from their respective board memberships, as of June 22, are Nobuyuki Idei, Kunitake Ando, Teruo Masaki, Ken Kutaragi, Teruhisa Tokunaka, Goran Lindhal and Akihisa Ohnishi.

Idei, who has served as director/representative ceo/chairman and group ceo, will become chief corporate advisor of Sony Corp. while Ando, director/representative ceo/president/ will become advisor of Sony Corp. and will continue to support the new management team from an overall Sony group management standpoint.

From June, the Sony Group will have a new management team centering on Sir Howard Stringer and Dr. Ryoji Chubachi, Idei commented. Both men have a deep understanding of Sony's great tradition and, through their open management style, they will focus intensely on energizing the entire Sony Group. Sir Howard is an executive admired both within the Sony Group and in the wider business community. His global perspective allows him to bring Sony's electronics and entertainment groups together and to integrate their resources effectively.

Idei said he was confident the new officers would, lead Sony boldly and flexibly into the future. It has been the greatest honor for me to lead Sony for 10 years as this global company has transitioned from analog to digital, integrated its electronics and entertainment cultures and moved into the broadband age. I have the highest expectations for Sony as it begins a new phase under a new management team.

Since I became president in 2000, there have been radical changes in the global business environment, added Ando. However, I firmly believe that the current management team has laid the foundations for future growth. Our mobile phone business has been revitalized through the establishment of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (SEMC) and we have created a stronger and more efficient production, sales and distribution platform. He added that, Chubachi has a deep knowledge of the key devices that are essential to success in the technology and electronics business. He also fully understands the production processes that are at the heart of any manufacturing company and I believe he is the right person to lead Sony's electronics business into its next phase of development.

Stringer said, I am delighted to be joining Dr. Chubachi, Mr. Ihara and the extremely talented global management team to lead Sony Corp. Sony has an unparalleled legacy of boldness, innovation and leadership around the world. Together we look forward to joining our twin pillars of engineering and technology with our commanding presence in entertainment and content creation to deliver the most advanced devices and forms of entertainment to the consumer.

The next chapter in Sony's history will be its most exciting, added Ihara. We have already made tremendous strides to expand cross-company initiatives and address business efficiencies. The solid growth of our U.S. operations and the continued brand strength there will help inspire many of our future activities.