Sir Howard Stringer has quite a reputation, both inside and outside of Sony. One thing that is often said about him is that he actually does understand what's happening, and isn't afraid to go against convention to do the right thing. Apparently, Sony felt his ability to do that in various parts of their business means that he's qualified to be the company's first non-Japanese CEO and chairman. It's going to be a big task, however. A few years back, when he was given the task of turning around Sony Music, he made all the right noises saying that the recording industry needed to be reinvented from the ground up and apologized for the industry offending consumers and musicians. However, he didn't exactly follow through. Not long after saying that, he started praising the RIAA lawsuits, and claimed they resulted in Sony's music business turnaround. While he apparently hasn't figured things out in his own mind, he's going to have to deal with a "house divided" within Sony itself. On the one hand, part of Sony is saying that copy protection has held up innovation while the other hand is saying that there can be no music business models without copy protection. Hopefully Sir Howard can live up to his reputation -- but I'm not holding my breath.
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