Who Owns Sony?

By Amy McNulty

Mike Lazaridis, founder and vice chairman of Blackberry, retired in 2013.
i Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Sony is an electronics multinational conglomerate that produces TVs, video game consoles, computers, media players and much more. It's also the parent company of Sony Group, which deals with motion pictures, music and finances. Familiarizing yourself with the basics of the history of this company helps you understand who currently owns Sony, and may influence your buying decisions.

Company History

Sony began as the Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo Corporation in 1946. Japanese electronics businessman Masaru Ibuka founded the company, and fellow business man Akio Morita joined him shortly thereafter. In 1955, the company offered its first stocks. In 1958, Ibuka and Morita changed the name of the company to "Sony," and later that same year, the Tokyo Stock Exchange listed the first public Sony stocks. It was not until 1970 that the New York Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange began listing Sony stocks.

Stock Ownership

Since the initial owners, Ibuka and Morita, offered stock ownership, the ownership of the company has fallen into stockholder hands. As of March 2012, over 714,000 Sony stockholders shared ownership of the company across the globe. Sony is listed on the New York Stock Exchange as SNE and SON on the London Stock Exchange. On the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the number assigned to Sony is 6758.

Top Shareholders

As of March 2012, the top 10 Sony shareholders were located largely in Japan and are comprised of various trust funds. These top shareholders include Japan Trustee Services Bank, Ltd., Moxley and Co. LLC, The Master Trust Bank of Japan Ltd., State Street Bank and Trust Company, and Mellon Bank in North America. Japan Trustee Services Bank holds the lion's share of the stocks.

Current CEO

Although he's not the "owner" of the company, the chief executive officer of Sony as of 2012 is Japanese businessman Kazuo Hirai. Hirai took over the position of CEO from Sir Howard Stringer, a Welsh-American businessman who retired from CEO to become chairman of the board at Sony. Hirai, Stringer and the rest of the board are responsible for Sony's direction as a business, although they answer to shareholders.