Sony's Chairman Howard Stringer set to retire this summer

Sony Entertainment's Chairman Howard Stringer has announced that he will be retiring this coming June. He gave the notice earlier today in a public statement at Japan Society in New York, with plans to step down set to take place at the company's shareholder meeting this summer. Previously Stringer, who is 71, was Sony's President and CEO.

Stringer, born in Wales and later moving to the United States in 1965, first joined up with Sony back in the late 90s, taking position as a group executive officer a year later in 1998 and eventually becoming CEO in 2005. Before Sony, he spent years working with CBS in a variety of positions, having worked his way up from the bottom to eventually become president of the company.

Sony's current President and CEO Kazuo Hirai, who replaced Stringer last year, credited him with "breaking down silos" and being a driving force for Sony United, as well as "fundamentally realigning" the company's product development focus. Stringer was responsible for a lot of cost-cutting during his time, something the company is still doing in light of poor finances.

In a transcript provided by company spokesperson Jim Kennedy, Mr. Stringer said about his upcoming departure: "A new world is opening up for me that will allow me to move forward with new opportunities I've been presented with lately." He didn't get too specific about what those opportunities are, but did say that he'll likely sit on education and health care boards, as well as continuing in his role as the American Film Institute's chairman.

[via Bloomberg]