TopVet: Howard Stringer, Sony

Sir Howard Stringer, director of the Sony Corporation and Chairman and CEO of Sony Corporation of America, is one of the most powerful and respected executives in the communications industry.

In 1965, just four months after Howard Stringer, a son of Cardiff, Wales, moved to the United States, he was drafted and sent off to Vietnam. He is, perhaps, the only Welshman to have served in the United States Army during the war.

Assigned as a military policeman, he became a personnel sergeant, rather successfully adapting to his environment. "You can either make it an experience that you get something out of, or go off in a corner and sulk," he told Forbes magazine.

Mr. Stringer has never been known to sulk. Following his stint in the Army, he embarked on a distinguished 30-year career as a journalist, producer, and executive at CBS.

From 1976-81, he served as executive producer of "CBS Reports." During his tenure, that documentary unit won virtually every major broadcasting accolade, including 31 Emmy Awards, four Peabody Awards, three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Christopher Awards, three Overseas Press Club Awards, an American Bar Association Silver Gavel, and a Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize.Mr. Stringer went on to produce the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," which soon became the dominant network evening newscast of its day. After serving as president of CBS News, he took the helm as head honcho of the CBS Broadcast Group for which he was responsible for all the broadcast activities at CBS, including entertainment, news, sports, radio and television stations. In 1993, in what became one of the most chronicled coups in television history, he facilitated the defection of David Letterman and his late night show from NBC to CBS.

After a brief foray into the world of high-tech interactive media – he was chairman and CEO of TELE-TV, a media and technology company formed by Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, and Pacific Telesis – Mr. Stringer was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Corporation of America, with overall responsibility for Sony’s strategic direction and new business development. Included in his domain are Sony Music Entertainment, one of the largest music companies in the world; Sony Pictures Entertainment, the parent company of Columbia Pictures; Sony Broadband Entertainment; Sony Electronics, the company’s U.S.-based hardware and manufacturing business; and Sony’s Internet and new media interests.

Mr. Stringer is the recipient of numerous awards. His "uncommon vision" was recognized by the Museum of the Moving Image and with the International Radio and Television Society’s Foundation Award. He was honored with the First Amendment Leadership Award by the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation and the UJA-Federation of New York’s Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award. He has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and the Royal Television Society’s Welsh Hall of Fame. In 1999, Mr. Stringer was knighted by Queen Elizabeth, accorded the title of Knight Bachelor, one of the most ancient and senior ranks of knighthood. In his native land, at least, he is now known as Sir Howard.

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