Howard Stringer

Sir Howard Stringer (born 19 February 1942) is a British-American businessman. He served as chairman of the board, chairman, president and CEO of Sony Corporation.[2] He is also the head of the board of trustees of the American Film Institute and now serves as a non-executive director of the BBC.

Howard Stringer
Stringer at opening night of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera
Born (1942-02-19) 19 February 1942
EducationUniversity of Oxford
Alma materMerton College, Oxford[1]
OccupationNon-executive director of BBC
Spouse(s)Jennifer A. Kinmond Patterson
FamilyRob Stringer (brother)
Military career
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1965-1967
Battles/warsVietnam War

Personal life

Stringer was born in Cardiff, Wales, the son of Marjorie Mary (née Pook), a Welsh schoolteacher, and Harry Stringer, a sergeant in the Royal Air Force.[3] In July 1978, he married[4][5] Jennifer A. Kinmond Patterson. They have two children.

His younger brother, Rob Stringer, was president of Sony Music Label Group.[6]

Stringer attended Oundle School in Northamptonshire and 11 other secondary schools by the time he was 16.[1] He received a Master of Arts from the University of Oxford in Modern History.[7] He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on 31 December 1999, and appeared on Desert Island Discs[1] in 2013.


Stringer moved to the United States in 1965. After working at CBS's flagship station WCBS-TV for six weeks, he was drafted into the United States Army, and served as a military policeman in Saigon for ten months in the Vietnam War.[5][8][9][10] He did not serve in combat, but was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement. Stringer returned to CBS, where he had a 30-year career. He started in a series of lowly jobs, including answering backstage phones for The Ed Sullivan Show.[11] He then became a journalist, producer and senior executive. He became a naturalised American citizen in 1985. He served as president of CBS from 1988 to 1995, where he was responsible for all the broadcast activities of its entertainment, news, sports, radio and television stations.[7]

Highlights of his career at CBS

  • Executive producer of "CBS Reports" (1976–1981)[12]
  • Executive producer of "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" (1981–1984)[12]
  • President of CBS News (1986–1988)[12]
  • President of CBS, Inc. (1988–1995)[12]


Sir Howard Stringer left CBS in 1995 to set up TELE-TV, a media and technology company formed by US telecoms Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, Pacific Telesis, and Creative Artists Agency in February 1995. He left two years later to join Sony.[13]


Stringer began work at Sony in May 1997 as president of its US operational unit (Sony Corporation of America). He was made a Sony group executive officer in May 1998.[13]

Since June 2005, he served as Chairman of Sony, overseeing businesses such as Sony Computer Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Financial Holdings. On 1 April 2009, he became president of Sony Corporation and ousted Ryoji Chubachi in what was seen as prelude to broader corporate restructuring.[14] Stringer also served as executive chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Corporation of America, and as president of Sony Broadband Entertainment Corporation since March 2000.[7]

Stringer was promoted to the company's top position as the corporation overall was having trouble with losses and was facing increasing competition from rivals like Samsung, Sharp, Apple Inc. and Panasonic. With his experience primarily in the media industry, Stringer was responsible for the media business of Sony in the U.S. by overseeing the release of the Spider-Man film series, among others.

As CEO, Stringer's initial focus was on streamlining Sony's electronics business, such as through its Bravia TV joint venture with Samsung.[15] Stringer was instrumental in arranging Sony's investment in Spotify, which earned Sony a profit of nearly $1 billion upon Sony's partial exit in 2018.[16] Nonetheless, Sony's stock price fell by 60 percent from when Stringer assumed the role of group chairman until his resignation as CEO was announced in 2012, due in part to exchange rates and the effects of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake.[17]

On 1 February 2012, Sony announced that Stringer would step down as president and CEO, effective 1 April to be replaced by Kazuo Hirai, executive deputy president and chairman of Sony Computer Entertainment.[18] Stringer relinquished his title of chairman of Sony and became chairman of the board of Sony in June ('Chairman of Sony' and 'Chairman of the Board of Directors' are separate positions at Sony). In June 2013, Stringer retired as chairman of the board of Sony.[19]

While serving as the chief of Sony in Tokyo, Stringer maintained a home in New York while his family lived in England.[15]

Awards and honours[7]

  • He received the U.S. Army Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement while serving in the Republic of Vietnam.
  • In 1996, he was awarded the First Amendment Leadership Award by the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation.
  • In 1996, he was also inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame.
  • In May 1999, he received the UJA-Federation of New York's Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award.
  • In November 1999, he was inducted into the Royal Television Society's Welsh Hall of Fame.
  • On 31 December 1999, he received the title of Knight Bachelor from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
  • In February 2007, the Museum of Television and Radio awarded him with its Visionary Award for Innovative Leadership in Media and Entertainment.
  • He has been honoured by Lincoln Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The New York Hall of Science and The American Theatre Wing.
  • He received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Glamorgan in Wales and University of the Arts London.
  • In 2000, he received an honorary fellowship from Merton College, Oxford.
  • In 2001, he received an honorary fellowship from Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.


  1. "BBC Radio 4 - Desert Island Discs, Sir Howard Stringer".
  2., Sony
  3. Schindehette, Susan (1993-04-05). "Howard Stringer". People. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  4. Diamond, Edwin (1988-08-22). "Television's New Fall Lineup: the Changing Guard at the Big Three...". New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. 21 (33): 110. ISSN 0028-7369.
  5. "Howard Stringer Biography (1942-)". Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  6. "Sony Music Label Group U.S. gets new chief as top 2 execs resign", USA Today, June 1, 2006
  7. "BusinessWeek Executive Profile: Howard Stringer". Retrieved 2009-02-28.
  8. Schindehette, Susan (1993-04-05). "Howard Stringer". People. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  9. Grifiths, Katherine. "Sir Howard Stringer, US Head Of Sony: Sony's knight buys Tinseltown dream." The Independent, 18 September 2004.
  10. "The Interview: Howard Stringer." The Independent, 21 March 2005.
  11. Michael Eisner (March 28, 2006). "Sony CEO Howard Stringer transcript". MSNBC.
  12. Biography for Howard Stringer - Internet Movie Database
  13. Griffiths, Katherine. "Sir Howard Stringer, US Head Of Sony: Sony's knight buys Tinseltown dream." The Independent, 18 September 2004
  14. Suzuki, Hiroshi; Masaki Kondo (February 27, 2009). "Sony's CEO Stringer Ousts Chubachi in Overhaul of Management". Retrieved 2009-02-27.
  15. Fackler, Martin (2006-05-28). "Howard Stringer, Sony's Road Warrior". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  16. "Sony reaps rewards of Stringer legacy with $983m profit on Spotify". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  17. Orzeck, Kurt (2012-01-06). "Report: Kaz Hirai to Replace Howard Stringer as Sony President". Reuters. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  18. "Sony names Kazuo Hirai as President and CEO; Sir Howard Stringer to become Chairman of the Board of Directors". Sony Corporation. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012.
  19. "Sony chairman Sir Howard Stringer to retire". BBC News. 11 March 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.

See also

Business positions
Preceded by
Nobuyuki Idei
Chairman of Sony Corporation
Succeeded by
Kaz Hirai
Preceded by
Ryoji Chubachi
President of Sony Corporation
2005–March 2012
Succeeded by
Kaz Hirai
Preceded by
Nobuyuki Idei
CEO of Sony Corporation
2005–March 2012
Succeeded by
Kaz Hirai
Preceded by
Yotaro Kobayashi
Chairman of the Board of Sony Corporation
June 27, 2012–June 20, 2013
Succeeded by
Osamu Nagayama
Preceded by
CEO of Sony Corporation of America
1998–June 2012
Succeeded by
Michael Lynton
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