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Sony investors support CEO, directors in spite of losses

TOKYO--Sony shareholders voted Thursday to keep Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai and other top executives after heckling them about the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's continuing losses.

Hirai, who took the helm in 2012, promised that “the money-losing structure” will be fixed this fiscal year once and for all, and apologized for not having acted quickly enough to changes in the business.

The 53-year-old showed on the screen a black-and-white photo of himself when he was 6, giggling on the floor with his father, who was tickling him to record his son's laughter on a reel-to-reel Sony recorder.

“The best way to build our future is for Sony to remain Sony, and realize our motto to become a company that inspires and fulfills your curiosity,” he said.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp. has lost money in six of the seven past years, and is forecasting more red ink for the fiscal year through March 2015.

Sony's once-star TV division has lost money for 10 years straight, unable to keep up with Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea and other rivals. In mobile devices, Sony has been slammed by Apple Inc.

Hirai said Sony engineers were filled with great ideas, which he promised to become real products, although they must all be fit to wear the “S-O-N-Y” label, he added, spelling out his company name.

Sony sold its Vaio personal computer business this year, and is splitting off its TV division to run as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

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In this Feb. 6 photo, Sony Corp. Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai speaks during a press conference at the Sony headquarters in Tokyo.

(AP)

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