Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai will directly oversee the loss-making TV business as part of a new management structure aimed at breathing new life into the struggling Japanese electronics and entertainment group, the company said on Tuesday.
Hirai, who formally takes over as chief executive from Howard Stringer next week, will head a new home entertainment division, which oversees TVs and replaces a previous consumer products and services group.
Sony will also form a new unit to oversee its medical business, which it has described as a growth area.
The company said the changes would "drive revitalization and growth across Sony's core electronics businesses."
Hirai inherits a company that - like much of corporate Japan - has been outgunned by rivals such as Apple and Samsung Electronics in recent years.
The maker of Bravia televisions and Vaio laptops expects a 220 billion yen net loss for the year to this month, a fourth straight year of losses, and due in large part to the ailing TV business.
Sony hopes Hirai, credited with reviving the PlayStation game business through aggressive cost-cutting, can work similar magic with a TV business that has lost more than $11 billion over eight financial years.
Long Sony's biggest product category by sales, TVs were overtaken by other segments in October-December. TVs accounted for 13 percent of overall sales in the quarter, down from 19 percent a year earlier and trailing games (16 percent) and combined sales from Sony Pictures and Sony Music (15 percent), according to the company's latest financial statement.
Despite the Walkman creator's image as an electronics icon, its only profitable businesses this financial year have been in entertainment - Sony Pictures and Sony Music - and financial services.
Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012
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