Struggling electronics maker Sony Corp. will give chief executive Nobuyuki Idei and three other outgoing executives a retirement package worth a total of about $7 million.


TOKYO (Reuters) -- Struggling electronics maker Sony Corp. will give chief executive Nobuyuki Idei and three other outgoing executives a retirement package worth a total of about $7 million.

Idei is set to lose his job as chairman/CEO as part of a sweeping overhaul of management later this month. He will be replaced by Welsh-born Howard Stringer, now head of Sony's U.S. unit, handing the reins to a non-Japanese for the first time.

In a report released on its Web site May 31, Sony said it will pay an aggregate ¥761 million ($7.02 million) to four executives who are giving up the posts of corporate executive officers -- Idei, current president Kunitake Ando, Ken Kutaragi and Tsutomu Niimura.

The combined payout to the four is less than half the ¥1.6 billion retirement package given to Norio Ohga, who served as president from 1982 to 1995. The unusually large payment to Ohga grabbed headlines and angered shareholders when it was announced in 2003.

Sony's core electronics unit is expected to lose money for the third straight year in the 2005/06 business term, ending next March, hit by sliding prices of flat TVs, DVD recorders and other products.

A Sony spokesman said the company had not changed its calculation method for executive retirement pay, explaining that the huge difference between Idei and Ohga's remuneration was simply because Ohga had worked many more years at the firm.

Sony, the world's second-largest consumer electronics maker, said it will pay Carlos Ghosn, CEO of automaker Nissan Motor Co. , and three other external directors a combined ¥117 million ($1.08 million) in retirement benefits.

Sony discloses the total retirement pay of its executives and directors but does not give individual amounts.

As part of the management reshuffle to be put to shareholders on June 22, Ando will be replaced by executive deputy president Ryoji Chubachi and, along with Idei, will become an adviser to the new management team.

Kutaragi remains head of the game division. Niimura became an adviser on May 31.