Investors heckle Sir Howard Stringer at Sony's annual meeting

 

Sony's chairman Sir Howard Stringer was heckled by investors who vented their fury at the annual meeting after the electronics giant made a record loss of ¥456.7bn (£3.68bn).

More than 9,000 shareholders turned up to the meeting in Tokyo, with some asking why Sir Howard should be allowed to stay with the company. The Welshman, who has handed over the chief executive's role to Kazuo Hirai, blamed Japan's 2011 earthquake and floods in Thailand for disrupting production and sales.

Mr Hirai told shareholders he "needed the advice and support of Stringer".

Investors approved the re-appointment of all of the directors, including Sir Howard, to the board.

Analysts remain doubtful, however, about the new chief executive's ability to turn around the group, with shares falling 36 per cent since his appointment in April.

Sony, which makes Bravia TVs, Vaio laptops and PlayStation games consoles, has been struggling with losses in its TV division.

"We take the problem Sony's electronics business is facing very seriously, and we feel a sense of crisis," Mr Hirai told shareholders.

Sony is forecasting a return to profit for the next financial year to March 2013. Its shares have halved in the past year as it loses share to rivals such as Apple and Samsung. The group, which also owns the world's second largest record label, Sony Music, has already warned it will cut 10,000 jobs, or about 6 per cent of its global workforce.

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