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Sony chairman-CEO now also president

RYOJI Chubachi will step down as the president ofSony Corp on April 1, while chairman and chief executive Howard Stringer will add the presidency to his list of titles.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company, battered by the global slump and the strong yen, is projecting its first annual net loss in 14 years. Sony is particularly vulnerable to overseas demand because exports make up about 80 percent of its sales.

Chubachi, 61, oversees Sony's core electronics sector, at the center of the unfolding economic woes at one of Japan's most famous manufacturers. He became president in 2005 when Welsh-born American Stringer, 67, became the first foreigner to head Sony.

Sony is expecting a 150-billion-yen (US$1.54 billion) net loss for the fiscal year through March. That's a reversal from a net profit of 369.4 billion yen the previous year.

The last - and only - time Sony reported a loss was for the fiscal year ending March 1995. The red ink came from one-time losses in its movie division, marred by box-office flops and lax cost controls.



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