After six years as boss of Sony, and the sacking of around 30,000 people, Sir Howard Stringer’s legacy is still a forecast loss of $1.2bn for the financial year to the end of next March.
What’s Sony been doing in the last six years?
It has seen its PlayStation eclipsed in the market by the Nintendo Wii.
It has seen its market-leading position in TVs massively eclipsed by Samsung.
It has seen its portable music business eclipsed by Apple.
It has seen its e-reader eclipsed by Amazon.
It took a year and a half to produce a tablet to compete with the iPad.
So what’s Sony been doing in the last six years?
When Sir Akio Morita was boss you knew what Sony was doing. It launched:
Japan’s first transistor radio;
Thee world’s first consumer-affordable video tape recorder;
The first CCD-based consumer video camera;
The first portable music-player.
It’s all about products, products and products. It’s not about cutting, slashing, burning and divesting.
The moral of this story is obvious: balance-sheet bean-counters shouldn’t lead consumer electronics companies.