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Case Title:

Sir Howard Stringer at Sony: Delivering 'American Results' for a Japanese Company?

Publication Year : 2005

Authors:  Nusrath Jahan Maldar, Srinath Manda

Industry: Home Appliances and Personal Care Products

Region:Global

Case Code: COT0004

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Abstract:
In the early 21st century, Sony, Japan's most innovative company and the world's most valuable consumer electronics company, was in a crisis. Its foray into music, motion pictures, and financial services, had left the company facing a diverse spectrum of increasingly competitive rivals. Sony's brand value was on the decline as products like Apple's iPod (portable digital music player) and Samsung's LCD (liquid crystal display) TVs leaped ahead in terms of quality and demand in an industry, which had been dominated by Sony for almost half a century. A restructuring plan, 'Transformation 60', was implemented by the then chief executive officer Nobiyuki Idei to revive Sony's flagging business by 2006, the year of Sony's 60th anniversary. However, in 2004, Sony's core electronics business, which constituted almost two-thirds of the company sales, incurred losses. Nobiyuki Idei resigned from his post and for the first time in the history of Sony, a non-Japanese, non-engineer, Sir Howard Stringer was appointed the head of Sony.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the problems at Sony, the rise of Sir Howard within Sony, the reasons for Sir Howard's appointment as the head of Sony and the challenges facing Sir Howard and Sony
  • To discuss whether Sir Howard will be able to revive Sony's fortunes

Keywords : Sony Corporation; Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita Leadership; Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Totsuko; Corporate Strategies Case Study; Global consumer electronics industry; Audio and video electronic devices; Sony Computer Entertainment Inc; Business model legacy innovation; Failed synergies of content and devices; Video tape format war Betamax vs VHS; Sony Ericsson; Aiwa; MGM; Cineplex; CBS; Nobuyuki Idei and Sir Howard Stringer; Walkman; Trinitron TV; Cybershot; PlayStation; World?s smallest; largest; first; best; Sony Pictures; Music Television; BMG; Transformation 60 restructuring plan

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