Sony CFO to lead entertainment-electronic giant as president
By YURI KAGEYAMA – AP Business Writer
TOKYO (AP) – Sony on Thursday appointed a veteran executive as its president to guide the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate through times of change and reported a fall in its profit in the most recent quarter.
Hiroki Totoki, Sony’s chief financial officer, will become president and COO, Sony Corp. said. in a statement.
Kenichiro Yoshida remains Chairman and Chief Executive, signaling continuity at the Tokyo-based maker of PlayStation gaming machines, Bravia TVs and Spider-Man films.
Also on Thursday, Sony reported a 6% decline in net income for the October-December quarter to 326.8 billion yen ($2.5 billion). That was down from 346 billion yen a year ago as profitability at its financial services was offset by losses at its imaging division. Quarterly revenue rose 13% to 3 trillion yen ($23 billion).
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Yoshida proposed the leadership change last year to strengthen Sony’s management across its various operations. It won the unanimous approval of the board on Thursday.
Sony, synonymous with Japan’s technological prowess for decades, brought mobile entertainment to the world more than four decades ago with the music-on-the-move Walkman. In recent years, it has been accused of struggling to coordinate its sprawling operations, which span financial services to video games and music to digital cameras and robotic dogs.
Totoki said he will try to rise to the challenge of leading the legendary company.
“I want to create a virtuous circle that starts with customers choosing Sony, which then inspires our people, allows us to attract more new talent, increases our shareholder value and ultimately allows us to give back to society” , he said .
The games division has faced headwinds of late, but its new HBO series The Last of Us, for example, is proving popular and should drive sales in the coming months.
Sony forecasts a profit of 870 billion yen ($6.8 billion) on sales of 11.5 trillion yen ($89 billion) for the fiscal year ending in March. The latest forecast is an improvement on last year. But the expected profit still falls short of the 882 billion yen achieved by Sony in the previous fiscal year.
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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