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Sony Executives Give Up Bonuses After Loss at Electronics Unit

Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai
Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai is expanding an initiative from last year when the 52-year-old and his predecessor Howard Stringer didn’t get bonuses. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Sony Corp. executives will give up their bonuses after its main electronics business was unprofitable for a second straight year.

The board backed a proposal from Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai that management forgo bonuses worth 30 percent to 50 percent of their annual pay in the year ended March, Mami Imada, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman said by phone today. She declined to specify the amount of compensation being reduced.

Hirai pledged to revive Sony’s electronics operation by cutting 10,000 jobs and shifting away from the unprofitable television unit after he took the top job in April last year. The CEO is expanding an initiative from last year when the 52-year-old and his predecessor Howard Stringer didn’t get bonuses.

About 40 executives are returning the bonuses which were scheduled to be paid after the general shareholders meeting in June, according to Yu Kikuchi, a Sony spokeswoman.

Sony reported its first annual net profit in five years last week, helped by one-time gains from asset sales and a weaker yen. The company didn’t say how much the electronics unit lost.

Net income was probably 40 billion yen ($410 million) in the year ended March 31, compared with a net loss of 456.7 billion yen a year earlier, the company said in a preliminary earnings statement April 26. That was in line with the 43.3 billion yen average of 18 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Selling properties and stock holdings generated about $2 billion in profit for Sony as it stumbles from losses in its TV business and mobile-phone unit. Games, cameras and mobile devices, including Xperia smartphones, are central to Hirai’s plan to revive the consumer-electronics business after losing ground to Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

The Nikkei reported the plan to give up bonuses earlier today.

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