Entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corp. on June 2 unveiled a pared-down management structure as Howard Stringer, who is set to take over as group chairman/CEO on June 22, starts to streamline o


NEW YORK (The Hollywood Reporter) -- Entertainment and electronics giant Sony Corp. on June 2 unveiled a pared-down management structure as Howard Stringer, who is set to take over as group chairman/CEO on June 22, starts to streamline operations and set up the company for improved cooperation across divisions.

Sony will cut its top management layer -- that of the so-called corporate executive officers -- by six to a total of seven. Besides Stringer, the group includes Sony president and electronics CEO Ryoji Chubachi, executive deputy president Katsumi Ihara, CFO Nobuyuki Oneda, and executive VPs Nicole Seligman, Keiji Kimura and Yutaka Nakagawa, the latter being newly selected to the top management layer.

Among the retiring corporate executive officers is Sony chairman/CEO Nobuyuki Idei.

In another big change for a traditionally title- and rank-sensitive corporation, Sony said it is changing certain executive titles and is abolishing the titles senior executive VP and VP, along with their Japanese equivalents, thereby cutting the number of ranks managers can hold. Instead, it will only use the titles of executive VP and senior VP, and only in their English version.

Stringer announced the streamlined executive organization and the title modifications at Sony's annual managers meeting June 2 in Tokyo.

Sony previously said that it is reducing the number of board members from 16 to 12. Industry observers expect Stringer to make additional changes that further cut Sony's managerial fat as well as allow its often independent divisions to cooperate more closely.