Space Ramblings

Howard Stringer on his last legs

It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Sony’s first non-Japanese boss is also its biggest disaster. Sir Howard Stringer’s term at the head of Sony has been one disaster after another. Sony has lost the portable music market it once dominated. It has now lost the console gaming market. And it’s flailing everywhere else.

Stringer’s software centered vision for Sony was a fool’s quest and one that has severely retarded the company’s growth and its traditional hardware focus. The removal of Ken Kutaragi who had built Sony into a console gaming giant is yet another example of the accumulated disasters of Howard Stringer. It was ultimately the white elephant of the Blu Ray drive that did the PS3 in, not Kutaragi. Sony’s overpriced next generation DVD format war claimed a partial victory through the PS3 at the cost of destroying Sony’s market dominance and the PS3 itself. Blaming Kutaragi for that will not change anything.

Software will not save Sony and in fact Sony’ software has been one disaster after another. Rootkits anyone? Sony’s idea of software is bad enough that it makes Microsoft look good.

Wired speculates that Stringer was brought in as an outside hatchet man to terminate loyal employees like Kutaragi, before the company replaces him with an appropriate Japanese leader. I can’t speak to the truth of that, but the reality is that Stringer is crashing and burning and he will be replaced before long.

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