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Howard Stringer, who fought to bring a divided and struggling Sony Corp. together as the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's first foreign president, is retiring as chairman in June.

He announced his departure in New York in a speech at the Japan Society Friday. That was confirmed by Tokyo-based Sony Sunday.

Stringer, a Welsh-born American, became president in 2005, when the once glorious maker behind the Walkman portable music player first started getting seriously slammed by the flashier Apple Inc. and cheaper nimbler Samsung Electronics Co.

Stringer said he was ready to retire after having handed over the helm to Kazuo Hirai last year, who was leading Sony well.

Stringer said he will do charity work in education and medicine, and continue chairing the American Film Institute.

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