Video Game Chief to Become Next Sony President

February 29, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. unanimously (adv.) – without opposition; done in a manner in which everyone share the same opinion or decision
Example: Our team won after the judges unanimously voted for us.

2. succeed (v.) – to replace another in office or position
Example: The president’s son will succeed him when the right time comes.

3. manufacturing (n.) – the making of raw material  into a useable product
ExampleManufacturing of certain plants into medicine is an important industry nowadays.

4. shut down (idiom) – to stop operating; to close down
Example: The company was forced to shut down because it was losing money.

5. internal (adj.) – inside; within something
Example: Employee complaints are internal problems which should be solved by the management.

Read the text below.

The Sony board of directors has unanimously decided to make its video game executive Kazuo Hirai the next president and chief executive of the company. As Sony’s new CEO, he will be in charge of saving the company from years of losses.

On April 1, 2012, Hirai will succeed Howard Stringer, who has been the chief executive since 2005. Hirai had long been expected to become the next CEO because of his success in overseeing the development of the company’s portable PlayStation system.

By taking over the company, Hirai will be responsible for Sony’s current struggles against its rivals. Sony, which introduced the Walkman in the 1970s, has been unable to make products that successfully compete with Apple’s portable music players and smartphones. Sony televisions, on the other hand, have also been losing to TVs made by South Korean competitors, Samsung and LG.

Other factors have also led to Sony suffering many profit losses through the years. The March 11 disaster had stopped the production in 10 Sony manufacturing plants in Northern Japan. In addition, the high value of yen made it hard for the company to attract foreign clients. Furthermore, Sony’s popular PlayStation Network was also forced to shut down for two months, after a hacker attacked the exposed personal data from over 70 million users.

According to Stringer, however, Hirai’s biggest challenge will be the internal rivalry and lack of teamwork among Sony’s different product divisions. Under Stringer, the company has tried to combine its hardware business with its music, movies and video game businesses, with only some success.

In his statement, Hirai said that he will continue on the path set by Stringer’s strong leadership, and focus on the growth of Sony’s electronics business.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         If you were offered to be the next company president, would you accept the job despite the problems facing the organization?
·         What qualities should a company president look for in his successor?

Discussion B

·         What do you think is the topmost reason which weakens a company?
·         How can a company have a strong organization?


February 29, 2012