Stringer continues rise through Sony hierarchy

Appointment part of company's reorganization plan

NEW YORK — Sony Corp. on Monday named Howard Stringer vice chairman, capping the former CBS prexy’s stellar rise within the Japanese conglom.

He will retain his title as chairman-CEO of Sony Corp. of America, overseeing film, music and electronics.

Appointment is part of a broader organizational shuffle marking the start of Sony’s new fiscal year. Sony’s business group structure was reorganized, with regional reps appointed to boost worldwide efficiency and collaboration. Stringer was named Sony Group America’s representative.

Stringer, a 30-year veteran of CBS, joined Sony six years ago as president of Sony Corp. of America, then mostly a holding company focused on strategy, with unit heads reporting directly to Tokyo. He soon assumed reporting control of the U.S. divisions. He joined Sony’s board in 1999, becoming one of its few non-Japanese directors. Native of Cardiff, Wales, also was knighted by Queen Elizabeth that year.

At Sony, Stringer became close with Sony chairman-CEO Nobuyuki Idei; he is well liked by execs both in Japan and the U.S. He’s been Sony’s U.S. face, and his mandate has been to encourage cooperation among the company’s various units, including sometimes elusive synergies between so-called hardware and software.

In other shifts, Sony Corp. of America general counsel Nicole Seligman has been given additional responsibility as group deputy general counsel for Sony Corp. Hideki Komiyama will return to the U.S. as prexy-CEO of Sony Electronics, replacing Fujio Nishida, who was promoted to senior VP of Sony Corp.

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