(Corrects second paragraph to note Seligman will step down, not
remain, as executive vice president)
TOKYO May 30 Sony Corp has appointed
for the first time a president for its profitable U.S.-based
entertainment business, the latest in a series of management
changes at the Japanese consumer electronics giant which is
trying to bolster its finances.
Sony said on Friday it had appointed Nicole Seligman, the
current head of its U.S. operations, to the newly created role
which reports to Sony Entertainment Chief Executive Michael
Lynton. She will step down as executive vice president and
general counsel, although she will continue to advise on legal
issues. Her appointment will be voted on at a board meeting on
Seligman's appointment follows a shake-up at Sony's Tokyo
headquarters which included the appointment of Kenichiro Yoshida
as chief strategic and financial officer, and who has been
lauded by investors for spearheading a restructuring drive.
Sony also came under pressure last year from shareholder
Daniel Loeb, chief executive of U.S.-based hedge fund Third
Point, to partially spin off its entertainment business because
it lacked transparency and was performing below its potential.
Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai rebuffed the proposal,
saying it was important for the company to retain full
ownership, but has improved disclosure at the unit.
Hirai said at a recent corporate strategy briefing that
strengthening the entertainment and financial businesses were
among Sony's priorities. Both units are reliable sources of
profit for the company which has been weighed down by losses
from its flagship electronics division.
(Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Edmund Klamann and