CEO says Sony won't rush into resuming dividends

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said he wants to resume dividend payments to shareholders when he succeeds in turning the company around, instead of rushing payouts.

Sony said in September that it was scrapping dividends for the first time since going public due to weak mobile phone sales.

The company, once a symbol of Japan's technology prowess, is in the midst of a restructuring that has so far seen it axe thousands of jobs and sell off its personal computer division.

"We are sorry there are no dividends, but we don't need to resume payouts at all costs," Hirai told reporters on Wednesday.

"The logic is that we want to resume payouts as a result of reforms, rather than rushing."

As part of its restructuring, Sony has also spun off its TV business and said last week it would also split off its audio and video business as part of a new strategy to encourage greater autonomy of its subsidiaries.

Hirai said he could not rule out the option of taking the spun-off subsidiaries public in the future.

But he also said the company wanted to try and keep its TV operations although he said last week that a sale of the unit, along with its struggling mobile division, could not be ruled out.

"In some ways, the TV occupies a prime position in the household and its relationship with other products," he said, explaining that the TV business' pursuit of better images and sound helped improve technology of its other products such as smartphones.

(Reporting by Reiji Murai; Editing by Miral Fahmy)