Stringer Leads a Diminished Sony: "The Welshman is the outfit's new chief, replacing Idei, who kept promising a turnaround that never came while rivals steadily gained
In the end, Nobuyuki Idei could not overcome the forces arrayed against him and Sony (SNE ), a $72 billion consumer electronics and entertainment colossus that has somehow lost its once-fabled killer instinct for innovation. On Mar. 7, Sony's board of directors replaced Idei, the company's chairman and CEO since June, 2000, with Sir Howard Stringer, who runs Sony Corporation of America.
To be sure, Sony is still a heck of a company. Its global rollout of its third-generation of PlayStation game machines later this year likely will be a triumph. It is investing, along with IBM (IBM ) and Toshiba, in an advanced microprocessor called the cell-chip that it promises will deliver next-generation applications to consumer electronic offerings. Sony may yet figure out a way to revive itself.
But the departure of Idei, who spent the better part of a decade promising a turnaround at Sony, may mark more than the the disappointing end to another CEO's career. One gets the feeling that Sony's glory days are gone for good, too. I wish Sir Stringer plenty of luck. He will certainly need it."