Sony investors vote to keep directors

Despite heckling, appointments for CEO Kaz Hirai, rest of board approved at annual shareholders meeting

Sony shareholders are upset enough with the company's recent performance that they openly heckled management at the annual shareholders meeting today. However, they weren't so upset as to toss the board of directors out the door, according to the Associated Press.

Sony CEO Kaz Hirai had to ask the audience for silence multiple times during the meeting. He also faced contentious questions from investors who expressed disappointment in his performance and lamented the quality of the company's products.

Despite the dissatisfaction, fewer than 10 percent of the votes cast were opposed to the company's appointments to the board of directors. As the AP noted, the majority of shareholder votes had been logged in advance by institutional investors. Fewer than 5,000 shareholders attended the meeting in person, less than half the number from last year.

Sony has lost money in six of the last seven years, and has forecast more losses for the current fiscal year. While the PlayStation 4 has reinvigorated the games business, the company has sold off its struggling Vaio line of PCs, and is in the process of spinning off its TV division as a separate company. Hirai told investors there was no plan to spin off its music and film divisions.

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Latest comments (2)

Jay Bedeau Producer, RIE STUDIOS LTD5 years ago
I understand your point of view Christian but I must respectfully disagree for the following reasons.

Long term strategies require endurance, making a sinking ship float again is something that takes planning, restructuring and a lot of smart decision-making. Steve Jobs' return to Apple in the late 90s is an example of what I'm talking about here. Apple's current success started with a spark - that spark was the iPod. For Sony, it is the "One Sony" strategy. Of that I am confident, for it is the same unified branding application that has caused Apple's success. From the popularity of the iPod the Mac marketshare increased and the Apple logo became synonymous with pop culture.

Where Sony is now in terms of it's brands is miles ahead of where it was 6 years ago, it is on the right trajectory. Sony Ericsson was not a strong brand, and branding matters more than price in the digital marketplace. The Sony Entertainment Network and synergy we're seeing between Sony's Film and Games divisions will cause them to be gain increased favour. However, that said, the financial battle Sony faces in getting there both spending enough and cutting back appropriately is a huge challenge.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 5 years ago
They were not expecting them to turn around Sony in a quarter. There is a promise, but they know they have a long way till they get there.
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