Sony posts losses while CEO earns $8.8M

TOKYO — Sony Corp., which has posted consecutive annual losses, said today its chief executive has received around 800 million yen ($8.8 million) in annual pay.

Nearly half of Welsh-born Howard Stringer’s pay came from stock options, said Sony spokeswoman Mami Imada. Stringer’s annual pay in the financial year to March 2010 was made public at Sony’s shareholders meeting.

Sony is the first major company to reveal executive pay under a new rule requiring Japanese corporations to disclose the compensation packages of executives earning more than 100 million yen.

Sony has incurred massive annual losses for two straight years. The company booked a 40.8 billion yen loss in the year to March 2010 and a 98.9 billion yen loss a year earlier.

But Imada said Sony shareholders at the meeting voiced no objection to Stringer’s pay.

His pay, though extravagant by the standards of ordinary workers, is relatively modest compared to CEOs of large U.S. companies. The 10 highest-paid CEOs for 2009 at Standard & Poor’s 500 companies earned between $24.4 million and $47.2 million, based on calculations by The Associated Press.

Since taking over as CEO in 2005, Stringer has been trying to unite Sony’s sprawling businesses, improve efficiency and rein in costs.

Sony expects to return to the black in the current financial year to March 2011, forecasting a net profit of 50 billion yen on revenue of 7.6 trillion yen.

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