Howard Stringer steps up to head of Sony Ericsson board

17th Aug 2009 | 11:04

Howard Stringer steps up to head of Sony Ericsson board

Is a takeover imminent?

Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony, has stepped up to Chairman of the Sony Ericsson board after a reshuffle at the top.

Bert Nordberg, currently Executive Vice President of the Ericsson Group and Head of Ericsson Silicon Valley, will join the company as co-president with current boss Hideki Komiyama, who will retire at the end of the year.

The move is designed to allow a smooth transition between the two, allowing the ailing Sony Ericsson to attempt to recapture its former glory.

The move of Stringer strongly hints that Sony is taking more of an active interest in the joint venture, which has seen profits tumble in the last year. The rumours Sony is looking to take full control of the brand continue apace, and some commenters will see this move as a sign the Sony influence is starting to take over.

Sony and Ericsson joined forces to take to take on the mobile phone industry eight years ago, but recently has been subject to speculation Sony was unhappy the joint venture wasn't making a commercial success of its prized Walkman and Cyber-Shot brands.

Exciting times

However, with a number of possibly exciting models on the horizon such as the Rachael Android phone, the Xperia X2, Satio and the see-through screen of the Kiki (although we bet the latter is nothing more than a concept), Sony Ericsson could be in for something of a re-birth.

Stringer said at the announcement of the shake-up that he believes the company is back on track (although we can't imagine him saying anything else): "The company is now well-positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities and return to profitability. Dick has made an enormous contribution to Sony Ericsson in a short time, as well as to Sony Corporation in the years before that."

Nordberg added the importance of the company's new 'open' strategy: "I am very pleased to be joining Sony Ericsson. With the growing importance of open source platforms, applications and content in the mobile handset industry, I believe the experiences I have gained in Silicon Valley will be very relevant to Sony Ericsson's business going forward."

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