Sony CEO Calls Third Point Push 'A Good Thing'

Sep 20 2013 | 10:22am ET

Having turned aside Third Point's push to spin-off part of its entertainment business, Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai is feeling magnanimous in victory.

The electronics giant's chief heaped praise on Third Point's activist campaign, saying it helped Sony. The comments are a far cry from the usual reception activists get in Japan, where few if any campaigns have succeeded, and Japan's close-knit corporate community closes ranks against attack.

"Dan Loeb and Third Point shed a light on the entertainment properties that we've been trying to shed a light on for the longest time," Hirai told The Wall Street Journal. "It’s actually a good thing."

Third Point had pushed for Sony to take its entertainment division public, retaining a majority stake but forcing it to improve transparency. The company rejected that approach last month, but said it would disclose more information about the business.

Loeb's approach was markedly more conciliatory than most activist campaigns in Japan, although he became more strident as the months wore on. Still, his personal touch appears to have worked, to some extent.

"I have a fairly good relationship with the folks from Third Point, including Dan," Hirai said. "If I get a nice letter pointing out some issues that he thinks are legitimate, then why should I be combative?"


In Depth

Israeli Hedge Fund Harnesses Big Data

Jul 28 2014 | 8:10am ET

Apica Green is a multi-million dollar Israeli hedge fund that is based in Tel Aviv...

Lifestyle

David Yarrow On Growing His Hedge Fund And Shooting The Animals And People Of Africa - As A Photographer

Jul 23 2014 | 6:44am ET

While he’s always been a photographer, recent expeditions to Iceland, Ethiopia...

Guest Contributor

Why Is The Shipping Industry Underwater?

Jul 31 2014 | 7:31am ET

Anyone who’s taken a look at the global shipping industry recently probably knows...

 

Publisher's Note