Sony to Cut Executives’ Pay This Year After Four Straight Losses

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai
Kazuo Hirai, president and chief executive officer of Sony Corp. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Sony Corp. will cut the salaries of Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai and directors after Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics lost 856 billion yen during the past four years.

Payments to executives including Hirai will be reduced, Mami Imada, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman, said by phone today. She declined to elaborate. The company paid 799 million yen ($10 million) in salaries to 21 executives and directors in the year ended in March, it said in a statement today.

Seven corporate executive officers returned their bonuses for the year ended March 31, Sony said in a statement to shareholders today. Once a trendsetter with products such as the Walkman, Sony’s losses have mounted after customers switched to Samsung Electronics Co. TVs and Apple Inc. iPhones, pushing the shares below 1,000 yen yesterday for the first time since 1980.

Hirai took over as CEO in April from Howard Stringer and predicted a return to profit this year.

Sony will seek shareholder approval for a new board, consisting of 14 members, at a June 27 meeting, the company said in the statement. Hirai also is seeking to become a board member.

The Tokyo-based company, cutting 10,000 jobs as part of a turnaround plan, has forecast making a profit of 30 billion yen in the year ending March 31. Last year, the company had a record 457 billion-yen loss.

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