• Sony execs lose bonuses after another bad year

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    TOKYO: Struggling electronics giant Sony will not pay bonuses to senior executives for the third straight year, the Japanese company said on Tuesday, as it braces for another disastrous earnings showing.

    The move means that company president Kazuo Hirai will not have received any bonuses since he became chief executive officer in 2012, a Sony spokeswoman said.

    Several top executives will follow suit, while dozens of other senior officials—including those in charge of the troubled electronics divisions—are expected to be left out of the bonus round for the second straight year, she said.

    “Our top management proposed to return their bonuses and that was accepted in the company’s compensation committee as appropriate,” the spokeswoman said.

    Japanese reports said bonuses typically make up between 35 and 50 percent of an executive’s remuneration, with the Nikkei business daily saying the total value of the bonuses that will not be paid this year could be up to one billion yen ($10 million).

    The comments come a day before the firm is due to announce its full-year earnings report.

    Sony said earlier this month it would report a bigger than expected annual loss, blaming costs tied to its exit from the personal computer business, as the once-mighty company undergoes painful reforms.

    Hirai has led a sweeping restructuring, including plans to cut 5,000 jobs and asset liquidation that saw the $1.0 billion sale of Sony’s Manhattan headquarters.

    But he has repeatedly shrugged off pleas to abandon the ailing television unit, which he insists remains central to Sony’s core business.

    Also on Tuesday, Sony appointed to its board John Roos, a Silicon Valley lawyer and a former US ambassador to Japan who was a major fundraiser for President Barack Obama.

    Losing its shine
    Sony was once king of consumer electronics and a byword for cool.

    But the company that revolutionized the way people listen to music with its Walkman portable cassette player has lost its footing since the sure-fire successes of the 1980s, and been overtaken by nimbler foreign competitors like Apple and Samsung.

    The electronics that built the brand are now an albatross around its neck, weighing on the profits that other arms of the huge company generate, such as those in music publishing and movies.

    AFP

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