Learning English - Words in the News
07 March, 2005 - Published 16:18 GMT
Non-Japanese heads Sony Corporation
Japan's Sony Corporation has unusually named a non-Japanese, Sir Howard Stringer as chairman and chief executive. The company has recently been criticised for not keeping up with its rivals. This report from Rodney Smith:
Howard Stringer has already made a name for himself as head of Sony Corporation in the United States, and as chairman of its electronics unit. However the company as a whole, best known for its Playstation portable video games console, its Walkman personal music machines and its Vaio personal computers, has been losing market share to innovative new ideas from competitors. These include Samsung of South Korea and Apple Computer, whose iPod personal music system strays right into the Walkman territory that Sony once claimed for itself.
Sir Howard, who was knighted in 1999, is an American citizen, but he was born in Britain and grew up in Cardiff in Wales, where he still has a home. He emigrated to the US in the mid-1960s, where he joined CBS television as a journalist. He rose to President of CBS where he gained a reputation for boosting it to the top of the US television network ranking, before moving to Sony.
It is unusual for a non-Japanese to reach the highest levels of Japanese business. The only similar case is Carlos Ghosn the chief of the Nissan motor company which is part owned by Renault.
losing market share