Howard Stringer says there is "too much old Sony at Sony" despite the fact that he has been in charge since June 2005.
Sony CEO Howard Stringer yesterday blamed the latest awful profit outlook for Japan's favourite electronics company on not adapting fast enough to new conditions, as well as the "worst recession in (his) lifetime". At a press conference, Stringer announced that Sony was revising its fiscal 2008 (ending March 2009) consolidated net income forecast to a ¥150 billion ($1.6 billion) loss from an earlier estimate of a ¥150 billion profit, off expected revenues of ¥7.7 trillion ($86 billion).
"There is too much old Sony at Sony," said Stringer in his introductory comments, despite the fact that he took the helm almost four years ago – specifically to make a "new Sony".
Stringer finds it easy to articulate the right strategy: Sony must become more of a pure design and marketing company (like arch rival Apple) in a world where hardware is becoming increasingly commoditised. It must also urgently reduce its huge fixed cost base, as reflected by the gulf between its revenue and its earnings. (To rub salt in the wound, Apple on Thursday beat analysts' expectations with a $1.6 billion profit for its fiscal first quarter to end-December, off sales of $10.2 billion.)