Today in Tokyo, Sony began their 94th annual shareholders meeting: with over 8,000 in attendance. With record-breaking numbers, it was clinch-time for current CEO Howard Stringer, where he was both asked if users were returning to the PSN after the two-month outage… and why he was even still there.
During a Q&A session, one of the comments that came through was for Stringer to step down due to a loss of trust and falling stock. Stringer responded by saying that it was a reasonable request and understandable: with stocks dropping after the March earthquakes and tsunami and the following hacker attacks, it would stand to reason.
Focusing more on the aftermath of the hackers, Stringer apologized for the attack, saying that Sony has been working diligently to strengthen and enhance the information system. He went on to say that since the PSN restoration, nearly 90% of the users have returned, showing that the trust in Sony is still there, and still rising.
Another shareholder made the comment that the attacks could have been retaliation against inappropriate comments from Sony management. Stringer responded that Sony was simply trying to protect their IPs from those that would try to gain free access by illegal means. Nothing was mentioned however, on the state of their security structure before or after the attacks.
The issue at hand during these conferences isn’t whether the person in charge did the right thing or not: it’s about if what they did carried the stockholders the maximum possible sum. It’s a shame that the primary focus is on the dividends, and not ultimately the consumer, yet that’s why Stringer was on the hot seat.
Sony did everything they possibly could after the devastating earthquakes and tsunami in March, and while the situation with the hackers could have gone much better in terms of delivering information and explanation, the end result was that users were satisfied once they were able to return. We’ll have to see how this further develops, as once the words are uttered, they can’t exactly be taken back.
Source: Impress Watch