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A new CEO for Sony

This weekend, Sony has appointed a new chairman/CEO: Sir Howard Stringer, currently the head of Sony’s U.S. division, will replace Nobuyuki Idei, who has led Sony for the last 10 years. More details in the New York Times, at PaidContent, etc.

I’m curious if Stringer can cure Sony’s malaise and find a solution for the often conflicting strategies of its technology and content divisions. Based on this recent CNET interview with Stringer, it doesn’t seem like Sony is going to get rid of its DRM flirting in the near future. Howard Stringer:

[…] The interesting thing is that technology companies and pure content companies sometimes have contradictory impulses. For us, the security of the content is still very, very important, and I think by working together now, we can protect content, because without content, most devices are junk. They may be very attractive, but a television, if you can’t watch anything on it, is worthless.

I’ve had a hard time convincing people of that, and I’ve had a hard time convincing the consumer electronics group to not discard the idea of security or copyright protection as irrelevant, because if you’re in China right now, it’s very hard to build a content business. You can’t do it.

But we’re working together in real harmony now, and we understand each other’s problems, and we have a better chance of solving some of these issues.

When reading this, I have serious doubts. But well, let’s see.

Update: For those interested, “How the iPod Ran Circles Around the Walkman” is a must-read on the subject. (Via Gen)

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