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40-year Sony vet Ohga steps down

Sony Chairman Norio Ohga is retiring effective immediately, the company says. CEO Nobuyuki Idei will act as chairman of the board until the general meeting of shareholders in June.

Sony Chairman Norio Ohga, a 40-year veteran of the Japanese consumer-electronics giant, is retiring effective immediately, the company said Tuesday.

The 73-year-old Ohga will take the title of honorary chairman of the company effective Jan. 30, and the company's chief executive, Nobuyuki Idei, will act as chairman of the board until the general meeting of shareholders, which will take place in June.

Ohga collapsed from a brain hemorrhage in late 2001 but has fully recovered, according to a Sony representative.

He had served as president of the company from 1982 to 1995 and as chairman of the board since June 2000. Idei has served as the chairman of the company since April 2000 and is expected to become the next chairman of the board in June, following a shareholder vote.

In separate news, Sony is working to revamp its management structure to improve corporate governance. Sony plans to create corporate committees to be in line with the revised Japanese Commercial Code, which will become effective in April. The revised code is designed to distinguish the roles and responsibilities between oversight and operations within a company.