Kenichiro Yoshida could barely have picked a worse time for his first public appearance as Sony's6758.TO -7.48% chief financial officer: The company on Wednesday said that restructuring charges to fix its consumer electronics business will drag the company to its sixth annual loss in seven years. 
Sony Corp. 4K Bravia liquid-crystal-display TVs are displayed during an unveiling in Tokyo.
Bloomberg News
The 54-year-old Yoshida, appointed CFO last month, appeared unfazed. At a press conference to explain Sony’s results, he gave a blunt assessment of why the Japanese tech giant had failed so many times to turn around its electronics division. And he promised that this time would be different.
“Fiscal 2014 is the year to finish off our restructuring measures,” he said.
Followers of Sony’s recent track record of promising to fix its electronics business, then failing to do so, may well be skeptical. At the press conference, reporters peppered Mr. Yoshida with questions asking “How is it different this time?” and “How can you be sure this will be it?”
Yoshida’s earnings presentation, at least, was distinctive.
First, he outlined, unprompted, figures that spoke to the depth of Sony’s troubles.
For example, the company’s consumer-electronics sales – excluding mobile phones and games – have nearly halved to 3.2 trillion yen ($31 billion) from its peak seven years ago. Its TV division racked up losses of Y790 billion over the past decade, even as Sony promised each year that it would turn the business profitable.
In another change, Sony also outlined annual revenue and operating profit targets for each business segment for the first time, a move that will likely put more pressure on individual divisions to achieve their numerical goals.
Yoshida also gave a long list of reasons that Sony had failed to fix its consumer electronics business, despite past restructuring attempts.
Here they are:
1.      Sony was slow to respond to changes in consumer trends partly because its financial and entertainment arms were still generating stable profits. It carried out restructuring only after consumer electronic sales  started falling.
2.      Previous restructurings stopped short of selling or terminating significant business lines. This time, it’s selling its personal-computer business.
3.      While Sony carried out cost cuts on the manufacturing side, it didn’t trim enough in its sales and headquarters divisions. This time, Sony plans to cut costs for electronics sales companies by 20% and HQ costs by 30% over the next few years. Hirai and other executives will forgo bonuses this year, resulting in a 30-50% reduction in annual pay.
4.      The head of the struggling TV business changed five times over the past decade, and steps taken to fix the division were not consistent. The current head has led the TV division for nearly three years.
Critics say Sony needs to compile long-term strategies to replace former engines of growth like TVs. But Mr. Yoshida said turning Sony into a more cost-effective company comes first. Only then can Sony focus on its three growth pillars of smartphones, imaging technology and games, and explore new businesses, he said.
“Since we’re in a very difficult situation, the order of how we move things forward is important. We must not get the priorities mixed up,”  Yoshida said.