Move had been expected after he stepped down as CEO last year
As expected, Howard Stringer will retire from his post as chairman of the board of directors for Sony Corp. in June.
Stringer had remained head of the conglom’s board even after Kazuo Hirai replaced him as president and CEO last April. As part of the arrangement, Stringer agreed to stay on Sony’s board for a transitional period, but had planned to leave at the conclusion of that term.
Stringer made the announcement of his retirement during a speech Friday at the Japan Society in New York.
Stringer served as CEO of Sony Corp. from 2005 to 2012. During his tenure, Stringer oversaw the launch of the PlayStation and Sony Entertainment Networks, as well as the purchase of EMI Music publishing in June.
But the company’s core manufacturing business has struggled in recent years, and Sony has come under pressure to shed non-core assets, including some of its real estate holdings. The conglom has recently held talks to sell two U.S.-based businesses, Gracenote and DADC.
Hirai praised Stringer’s “innumerable” achievements in a statement issued Friday, pointing toward his efforts to grow the company’s film and television businesses into key drivers of profit.
“I was fortunate to have many opportunities to work with Howard and develop a strong friendship over a period of many years,” Hirai said. “I thank Sir Howard deeply for his tremendous contribution to Sony, and wish him every success in the next stage of his life and career.”
Stringer alluded to “new opportunities” in his speech, some of which “involve board work in areas of personal and philanthropic interest to me, namely medicine and education. Stringer also said he would continue his chairmanship of the AFI and affiliations with “several other businesses and educational and artistic institutions.”