Winds of war between the Japanese giant and the Swedish company. It looks as if the CEO of Sony is having second thoughts over Ericsson in their joint venture. Sounds serious. Isn’t it? Sony boss also has a self-set goal of connecting 90% of the company’s products to the web by 2011. Surely mobile connections will have a place somewhere in his plan to achieve it? Howard Stringer Sony’s CEO has spoken out about the company’s joint venture with cell phone maker Ericsson, saying the Sony Ericsson brand must do better if it is to survive. When asked whether Sony is planning to end its Sony Ericsson joint venture, Howard Stringer told German newspaper Die Welt: “It’s certainly been a difficult year but buying out a partner is never an easy thing. We have to work together again as we did two years ago. Or the joint venture will have to find its own solution. We have to work together again as we did two years ago. Or the joint venture will have to find its own solution”
Sony’s difficult year so far has been mirrored in the company lowered its group net profit for this year to March 2009 by 17%. Citing a slump at Sony Ericsson and weakening prospects for its electronics division amid tough price competition. Earlier Ericsson announced that it had been contracted to build a broadband wireless network for King Abdullah Economic City project leader, Emaar, for an undisclosed sum. The agreement covers network gear and installation spanning the next five years. “You’re always engaged in discussion and negotiation,” he said.
Sony Ericsson was established in 2001 by Sony and Ericsson to make mobile phones after a fire in March 2000 at a Philips factory in Albuquerque, the sole supplier of semiconductors to Ericsson nearly crippled the company. The stated reason for this venture is to combine Sony’s consumer electronics expertise with Ericsson’s technological leadership in the communications sector. Is Sony Ericsson Headed for Splitsville? Or are the bells starting to toll? And will that be the last ring tone from Sony Ericsson?
Sir Howard Stringer
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Sony Corporation
Sir Howard has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Corporation since June 2005. He is also a Representative Corporate Executive Officer of Sony Corporation.
Sir Howard also serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Corporation of America, as well as corporate head of Sony Corporation’s Entertainment Business Group. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Sony Corporation, and is also a Board member of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (which is 50% owned by Bertelsmann A.G. and 50% owned by Sony Corporation of America), one of the largest recorded music companies in the world, and he oversees Sony’s other music-related holdings in the U.S. Sir Howard is also a Board member of Sony Ericsson, a 50/50 joint venture of Sony Corporation and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, which is a global provider of mobile multimedia devices, including feature-rich phones and accessories and PC cards. He joined Sony Corporation in May 1997.
Prior to joining Sony, Sir Howard had a distinguished 30-year career as a journalist, producer and executive at CBS Inc. As President of CBS from 1988 to 1995, he was responsible for all the broadcast activities of the company including entertainment, news, sports, radio and television stations. Under his leadership, the CBS Television Network became the first network to rise from last to first place in one season. In 1993, in what became one of the most chronicled coups in television history, Sir Howard convinced David Letterman to bring his critically acclaimed late night show to CBS.
From 1986 to 1988, Sir Howard served as President of CBS News, where he developed several new programs including the award-winning 48 HOURS, which continues as a primetime hit to this day. Prior to that, during his tenure as executive producer of the CBS EVENING NEWS with Dan Rather from 1981 to 1984, that program became the dominant network evening newscast of its day. From 1976 to 1981, while he was executive producer of the CBS REPORTS documentary unit, it won virtually every major honor, including 31 Emmys, four Peabody Awards, three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Christopher Awards, three Overseas Press Club Awards, an ABA Silver Gavel and a Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize. Among his award-winning programs are THE ROCKEFELLERS, THE PALESTINIANS, A TALE OF TWO IRELANDS, THE DEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES, THE BOAT PEOPLE, THE BOSTON GOES TO CHINA, THE FIRE NEXT DOOR, and THE CIA’S SECRET ARMY. He earned nine individual Emmys as a writer, director and producer from 1974 to 1976.
After leaving CBS Inc., Sir Howard was Chairman and CEO of TELE-TV, the media and technology company formed by Bell Atlantic, NYNEX and Pacific Telesis, three of the largest telephone companies in the United States, from February 1995 to April 1997.
Sir Howard is the recipient of numerous media and philanthropic awards. The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of Television and Radio) presented him with its Visionary Award for Innovative Leadership in Media & Entertainment in February 2007. He has also been honored by Lincoln Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the New York Hall of Science. In May 1999, he was honored with the UJA-Federation of New York’s Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award and in November 1999, he was inducted into the Royal Television Society’s Welsh Hall of Fame. In 1996 he was awarded the First Amendment Leadership Award by the Radio & Television News Directors Foundation in Washington, D.C., and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.
Sir Howard serves as Chairman of the American Film Institute Board of Trustees and is on the Board of Trustees of the Paley Center for Media. He is also North American Chairman of the British Army Benevolent Fund. He is a board member of The New York/Presbyterian Hospital, The American Theatre Wing, the American Friends of the British Museum, the Corporate Leadership Committee of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall. A native of Cardiff, Wales, Sir Howard received the title of Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours list of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on December 31, 1999. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in modern history from Oxford University. He has honorary Fellowships from Merton College, Oxford, and the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Mr. Stringer has also received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Glamorgan in Wales and the London Institute. He is a recipient of the U.S. Army Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement for service in Vietnam (1965-67). He became a U.S. citizen in 1985 and is married to Dr. Jennifer A.K. Patterson, a dermatologist. They have two children, David Ridley and Harriet Kinmond.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, communications and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. Its motion picture, television, computer entertainment, music and online businesses make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $88.7 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008, and it employs 180,500 people worldwide.