Sony Appoints Nicole Seligman Its US President

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Nicole Seligman will be the first official US president of Sony Corporation.

Sony has created a new position of president for its US operations to be filled by that division’s current head of operations, Nicole Seligman. She is also the company’s Executive Vice President and serves as General Counsel of Sony Corporation.

The 58 year old has been with Sony since 2000 when she became its Group Deputy General Counsel. Seligman was elevated to the position of President of Sony Corporation of America on June 27, 2012.

In her new job Seligman will directly oversee operations of the company’s movie and music properties and report solely to Sony CEO Michael Lynton while continuing to advise the company on legal issues.

In a statement the company said that Seligman will “oversee key HQ functions of the subsidiary companies, such as finance, human resources, legal and corporate communications, whose functional heads will report directly both to her and their respective Chief Executive Officers. The Chief Executive Officers will continue to report to Mr. Lynton. As an integral part of her new role Ms. Seligman will also work with Mr. Lynton to develop overall strategy and growth opportunities, identify and implement efficiencies within and among the three Sony Entertainment companies, and expand the businesses’ combined global footprint and influence.”

For his part, Sony CEO Lynton said, “I sought out Nicole for this role and am thrilled to work with her to explore new ways to leverage Sony Entertainment’s business and creative assets into new opportunities for profitability and growth. We have so much talent to draw upon, and I’m very happy that we now also have Nicole’s broad experience and proven judgment focused on moving Sony Entertainment forward.”

The appointment for Sony’s profitable US-based entertainment business is just one of many recent moves by the company to improve its finances. It comes after the appointment of Kenichiro Yoshida as Sony’s new chief strategic and financial officer, who was praised by investors for directing the restructuring drive.

After Sony rejected a proposal by hedge fund owner Daniel Loeb to spin off a minority stake in its entertainment businesses last year the company promised that it would streamline its entertainment operations.

For decades Sony was known as the top company for any and all electronics devices, like televisions and stereos. But now it has been eclipsed by companies such as Samsung and LG.

Thirty years ago Sony was a major innovator having invented the Walkman portable tape player with its small and light headphones and other cutting edge technologies. Today no one even thinks of Sony in the market for smart phones, tablets and other modern devices.

As for Seligman, she said of her new job, “I look forward to continuing to work closely with Michael [Lynton] as we harness the exceptional talent of our people and encourage the development of new synergy points to catalyze innovation throughout the company. I appreciate the confidence that Kaz and Michael have shown in me, and I’m eager to build upon a very productive, collaborative relationship in pursuit of our shared objectives for Sony Entertainment.”

An American attorney and corporate director, Seligman began her career at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C. While with the firm, Seligman first gained prominence when she represented former US Marine Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal at the end of President Reagan’s second term of office in the late 1980s. She then acted as one of President Clinton’s attorneys during his impeachment in 1999. Seligman is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Seligman’s total compensation for 2013 was estimated at $130, 000, 000.

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