Sony CEO Stringer: Company changing, plugs tablet

Sony CEO Stringer: Company changing, plugs tablet

Summary: Sony CEO Stringer said that the company is making progress transforming, but is battling a "rowboat mentality."

TOPICS: Hardware, CXO

Sony CEO Howard Stringer his company "tried very hard to digitize," but missed multiple innovation curves because it was "too comfortable with the way things were."

Stringer's talk at the IBM Think conference in New York shed light on Sony's history and how the CEO---who is always quick with a quip---manages.

Proof that Sony is set for the digital age?

While IBM CEO Sam Palmisano preached optimism and having a long-term vision, Stringer noted that you need to solve short term problems first.

If you extrapolate Stringer's comments---I'll take the liberty of doing so---Sony is a company that has a vision statement, but is still pushing a cultural boulder up a hill. Short-term issues whether it's battling Apple, deriving music revenue in the digital age, creating an e-reader that sells or creating a hit movie can occupy leaders for a while.

Speaking broadly about the state of affairs in Western economies, Stringer noted that the short term matters.

"Don't get confused with the long-term vision unless it solves short-term problems. And the short-term problems are terrifying people," said Stringer. Referring to Palmisano's argument that data is an opportunity for fact-based optimism, Stringer said "all that data isn't going to make a difference to the 9 percent that's unemployed."

As for Sony's internal changes, Stringer said that the company is making progress, but like many large companies can battle a "rowboat mentality." "All companies have a rowboat mentality. They are moving forward, but look at the past," said Stringer. "When a company has a past it can get very comfortable."

Stringer said Sony is changing to better take advantage of digital transformation and told the audience that "those of you rushing out to buy our new tablet will prove that."


Topics: Hardware, CXO

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  • Rushing?

    Maybe considering, or at Sony prices the majority of us will be wishing or wanting.
  • Stringer's 'changing' takes too many years already; I said from very ...

    ... beginning that replacing a Japanese head with an American would not do the trick.

    Stringer killed lots of low-profit activities like Aibo robo dog with an excuse that such actions are done to make the company more focused and profits oriented. However, the focus is still lacking, and profits do not excite at all.

    And the coolness factor of Sony brand is diminished by the actions like killing of Aibo and some other projects.

    That said, Sony still tries to keep the class, the level of design of its products (for example, tablets' design shows it). Under Stringer, the company at least did not lose this quality.

    But this is not enough.
    • RE: Sony CEO Stringer: Company changing, plugs tablet

      Ram U
  • RE: Sony CEO Stringer: Company changing, plugs tablet

    Sony has several cool lines and has no issue making cool things...

    The Bluray deal, failed PS Network, and rootkit have hurt Sony more than anything.
    • RE: Sony CEO Stringer: Company changing, plugs tablet

      @Peter Perry
      Add betamax to that.
      Ram U
  • RE: Sony CEO Stringer: Company changing, plugs tablet

    Complaint with IBM China CSR on Centennial

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