Sony has had a blatant internal conflict for years, between its entertainment operations and its technologists. The entertainment people have succeeded in crippling the technology -- notably the absolute refusal until recently to allow the use of the MP3 format in its music players -- and have helped make Sony less relevant in the gadget world.
NY Times: Shakeup at Sony Puts Westerner in Leader's Role. The board of the Sony Corporation of Japan named Sir Howard Stringer its chairman and chief executive today, an unusual instance of a leading Japanese company turning to a foreigner to fill a top position, the company said in Tokyo. Sir Howard, a Welsh-born former television news journalist, runs Sony Corporation of America and has helped revive the company's music and movie businesses in the United States. He will succeed Nobuyuki Idei, Sony's current chairman and chief executive, who had planned to retire next year after Sony's 60th anniversary.
Stringer is one of the leaders of an entertainment cartel that uses copyright law to thwart innovation that it can't control or veto. His appointment to the head of Sony means, simply, that the entertainment side controls the company.