Sir Howard's way wasn't all that successful was it? I don''t think Sony's woes can be pinned on the Japanese nuclear disaster and the floods in Thailand (affecting the prices of hard disks). To me, Sony's lack of understanding of social media networks and its failure to embrace the fans of its hardware (read the gaming community) are points that serious blight the tenure of Howard Stringer, Sony's departing president and CEO. It's a pity. I thought the Welsh-American could change the course of a giant corporation that's been seriously out of control for several years.
But I realize that in the course of Stringer's reign at Sony, I have replaced all but one device in my home with a non-Sony brand. Gone are all the Sony amplifiers, Walkman WDM6 casette recorders, DAT recorders, MiniDisc recorders (thank God for that), several Sony cameras, One Sony VAIO desktop (never, ever again) and countless Memory sticks (cost per GB has always been ridiculous)
I stopped buying Sony mobile phones because of reliability issues. My Sony P600 smart phone packed up because it recalibrated itself in my back pocket, making it impossible to enter the password. It would cost 80 Euro to just check was wrong. Switched brands after that.
I owned a Sony Triniton portable for 20 years. But when it finally needed replacing because of the arrival of digital TV, Samsung had left Sony in the dust.
I have only a handful of Sony devices left. One is the PS3 which I bought for the kids and also doubles as a Blu-Ray player. Oh, I see I have a pair of Sony professional headphones, though I replaced the earpads with another brand which fit better and last longer. I think Sony made some of the best hi-fi headphones (the HDR-1) in the glory days of the late 1990's. But when the Sony Service centre in Hoofdorp wanted to charge me 40 Euro for a plastic lens cap was the moment that my brand loyalty flew out of the window.
So, the new guy, Kazuo Hirai, has a lot of work to do. I wonder if Sony will ever be a leader again? They could start by re-thinking their slogan. Sony - Make. Believe. No-one see's the full stop. I don't think Howard ever saw the irony. The explanation by the Sony PR team was the most disappointing load of rubbish I've read in a long time. What happened to Only Sony?