Sony says online network chief quits

TOKYO Wed Nov 7, 2012 10:26pm EST

A man stands behind Sony Corp's logo at an electronics store in Tokyo October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

A man stands behind Sony Corp's logo at an electronics store in Tokyo October 31, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp's network strategy chief, Tim Schaaff, will quit next month after leading the Japanese company's efforts to build a unified online content delivery platform to compete with Apple Inc (AAPL.O) for the past seven years.

Schaaff, 52, would retire as of December 31, Sony said in a release. Andrew House, the head of its gaming division would assume responsibilities for its online network unit as a transitional step.

Sony said Schaaff would remain as an external director at the Sony unit, but did not elaborate on his future plans.

Former Sony CEO, Howard Stringer, headhunted Schaaff from Apple in 2005 to build the company's online presence. As a member of Steve Jobs' inner circle of developers, Schaaff oversaw the creation of its QuickTime video streaming software.

Sony under Stringer and his successor, current CEO Kazuo Hirai, has pursued a strategy to link its game consoles and other devices online to an extensive library of software, movie and music content as demand for its televisions shrinks.

Schaaff launched new online services, including Music Unlimited in 2010, overseeing an expansion in subscribers to the company's networks to 110 million.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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