Kazuo Hirai promises focus on gaming, mobile biz, imaging
Sony’s new CEO is still promising an “aggressive” turnaround at the struggling electronics giant with laser focus and new products that can attract consumer in a crowded marketplace.“The U.S. market continues to be very competitive. A lot of innovative products are coming in. At the same time, the economy has room to improve. It’s important for Sony and other companies to bring in products that really excite customers,” Kazuo Hirai told CNBC at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, where Sony is unveiling a new waterproof tablet called the Xperia Tablet S to compete with Apple’s iPad. Turning Sony around has been easier said than done ever since it was outpaced in key business lines by rivals in the U.S. and Asia. Former CEO Howard Stringer came and went with that one goal, but Wall Street and the industry are still waiting. “We need to do several things at once. The first important thing is to make sure we’re laser focused on the core business. Those areas are gaming, the mobile space and digital imaging,” Hirai told CNBC. “We need to turn the television business around,” he added — referring to declining sales of TV sets, not the U.S.-based production biz under Sony Pictures Entertainment. “This is a very aggressive initiative that I personally am undertaking.” Sony reported a $300 million loss for the June quarter and lowered its full-year forecast. Hirai has announced plans to cut 10,000 jobs globally and shift much of Sony’s production to Malaysia.