Ann Morfogen, chief communications officer at Sony Corporation of America and top adviser to Chairman Sir Howard Stringer, will be stepping down after 16 years, TheWrap has learned.
The news follows reports that Sony is looking for a president who could possibly replace Stringer, 69. Stringer is currently chairman, president and CEO.
Morfogen confirmed to TheWrap her intention to depart at the end of this year, shortly after Stringer sent a note to top executives on Tuesday announcing the news.
“Several months ago (Ann) expressed her desire to retire from her day to day staff position at Sony to travel, study, seek new challenges and continue her association with SCA and Sony Corporation on a consulting basis,” Stringer wrote.
His note suggested that Morfogen’s first client would be Sony: “We will continue to benefit from her expertise from the communications consultancy she will form” Stringer said in his note praising Morfogen’s judgement and leadership. “She officially moves on from Sony at the end of this calendar year. “
Morfogen has been a key consigliere to Stringer for decades. She worked for him at CBS, and preceded him at Sony before he took the top job in the 1990s. Former Sony chief Mickey Schulhof first hired Morfogen in 1994.
Morfogen told TheWrap: "I worked for 24 years at CBS, 16 years at Sony. That’s a lot of years. I've worked at two great companies, now I want to travel and see the world. I don’t want to get old sitting at a desk."
She added that she would consult to Sony, but did not intend to spend all her time doing consulting.
Morfogen's two top deputies, Sandy Genelius and Mack Araki, were expected to step into her shoes.
Stringer said last year he wanted to remain on the job until Sony completes its business plan ending in March 2013.