Inside the Shakeup at Sony

The surprising selection of Howard Stringer as Sony’s CEO was a classic boardroom tale of executive intrigue and dashed ambitions.

  1. Nobuyuki Idei was in a quandary. It was mid-January 2005, and the weary Sony Corp. CEO had just received confirmation from his chief financial officer, Katsumi Ihara, of what many around headquarters had dreaded.

    Price wars for flat-screen TVs and sluggish holiday sales of other consumer electronics gadgets had undercut financial results for the quarter ended in December. Revenues were 7.5% lower than in the corresponding 2003 quarter, and operating profits, perhaps the truest measure of Sony's strength and agility, were off 13%. Worse, that meant Sony's projected revenues for the fiscal year ending in March were its lowest in five years - $68.6 billion - and 5% below what the company had forecast, something to which Idei would have to fess up both in public and before an increasingly restive board of directors. Clearly, Idei's "Transformation 60" restructuring plan - intended to reinvigorate the company in time for Sony's 60th anniversary in 2006 - wasn't working. It was time for a b...

The complete text of “Inside the Shakeup at Sony” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on money.cnn.com.

Originally published in Fortune, April 2005

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