May 14 2013, 8:50am CDT | by Sumayah Aamir
Things are not looking good at Sony. The Japanese giant has been under pressure lately. In such a time of troubles, the appearance of Daniel S. Loeb, a successful hedge fund manager on the scene has proven even more decisively detrimental to Sony. Loeb is not exactly known for his soft side. According to the New York Times
, he is a tough and hard-nosed businessman with the cunning savvy to make mergers and deals like Donald Trump. As a famous billionaire, Loeb has attracted attention for announcing beforehand the possible breakup of the colossus. The war has begun and it will rock Japan.
Japanese businessmen are known for their shrewd observation and hard selling tactics. They have been the teachers of the Americans throughout the 80s and 90s. However, with Loeb the story is entirely different. The King of Wall Street has the Japanese all shook up over the looming crash of Sony. Loeb has made overtures to Sony’s stakeholders to sell off part of its entertainment wing which has produced such blockbusters like “Skyfall” and also managed pop starlets such as Taylor Swift. Loeb was famous for driving out Yahoo’s former chief and letting the spot go to Marissa Mayer. He has a reputation for headhunting and deal sealing.
Loeb’s hedge fund has amassed a significant percentage of Sony’s economic pie. The total net amount is estimated to be $1.1 billion. Meanwhile, the CEO at Sony has repeatedly reiterated that the company is not for sale. Loeb on the other hand in a letter to the Sony executives spoke of the urgent need for greater focus in the ranks. He even made an offer of serving on the board of directors. The bets are on that Japan will be a virtual gold rush of the future as investors hurry in a race to own significant portions of the treasure. While Loeb has his eyes transfixed on the Land of the Rising Sun, the people at Sony have their objections. They say that Japanese culture respects its employees and does not kick them out of jobs just for the sake of greater efficiency. The hierarchy and business ethics of Japan lend a thing called lifetime job satisfaction to workers. But with the new prime minister of Japan, Abe changing this tradition, people like Loeb may have the upper hand in the end.
Image Credit: Getty Images
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