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Sony boss Stringer steps down

British-born CEO leaves after eight years at helm

Sir Howard Stringer was brought in to right a foundering ship in 2005.
Sir Howard Stringer was brought in to right a foundering ship in 2005.

Sony's first foreign chief executive Sir Howard Stringer stepped down today after eight years in charge and a year after handing over day-to-day running duties to Kazuo Hirai, the BBC reported.

The British-born CEO was brought in to right a foundering ship in 2005, as the previously undisputed global electronics leader was caught off guard by stiff competition from Samsung and Apple.

Despite efforts to restructure the company, Stringer's inability to bring a competitive smartphone to market and a surprise strengthening of Samsung's TV offerings led to mounting losses, tumbling stock and junk credit ratings.

A strong yen and a stuttering global economy exacerbated matters for Stringer. Sony only managed to produce a quality smartphone range this year with the Xperia Z and the company's main profits now lie outside the electronics sector, in music, film and health insurance.