Sony Shareholders Make Waves at Annual Meet

Stringer takes 16% pay cut

Sony CEO Howard Stringer got a grilling at his company’s shareholder meeting Tuesday.

After the Tokyo-based electronics behemoth reported its third consecutive year of losses and the seventh straight year of losses for the television division, shareholders reportedly spoke up to complain about declines in the share price.

According to The Wall Street Journal, shareholders grumbled that the company’s share price has fallen about 29 percent since Japan's March earthquake and tsunami. One shareholder in particular blamed the losses on the fallout from the hacker attacks on the company’s PlayStation Network this spring. The same person proposed that Sony replace Stringer as a signal to investors and customers that the company is turning a new page.

Reflecting the company’s financial troubles, Stringer took a 16 percent pay cut, earning $4.27 million in the last fiscal year, down from about $4.5 million in the previous year (not including stock options). But he reportedly did not address the call to step down; instead, according to the WSJ, Stringer noted that his “foremost responsibility is to advance the transformation process" and encourage the company’s next wave of executives.

Also, according to the Associated Press, Stringer apologized for the April data breach that compromised personal data for about 100 million Sony customers. But he said that as many as 90 percent of its subscribers had returned since the company started restoring service last month.

"Our brand perception, you'll be happy to know, is clearly improving again," he said.

Sony said it estimates that the cyber attacks will cost the company about $173 million in increased customer support, welcome-back freebie packages for customers, legal fees, lower sales, and other security measures, the Associated Press said.