Sony's chief financial officer and primary dealmaker, Rob Wiesenthal is Howard Stringer's right-hand man at the media conglomerate.
Wiesenthal has solid ties to both banking and media: His uncle, Arthur Carter, was one of Sandy Weill's first partners on Wall Street, and later controlled a handful of publications including The Nation and the New York Observer. Wiesenthal's own banking career took root at First Boston after he graduated from the University of Rochester. (He claims he scored the job because he managed to impress a senior banker by fixing his computer.) Wiesenthal's rise at First Boston was quick: He joined the firm's media group in the early '90s; within a decade he became one of the youngest ever bankers to be named managing director. In 2000, he switched sides and joined Sony—a client of his at First Boston—as the media company's chief strategy officer. In 2002, he was elevated to chief financial officer.
As head of Sony's strategy and M&A efforts, Wiesenthal has been responsible for shepherding the company through a series of divestitures and acquisitions over the past few years. He was involved in setting up the joint venture with Bertelsmann that created Sony BMG, and selling off the company's stake in Telemundo to NBC for more than $2 billion. He also championed Sony's acquisition—for more than $5 billion—of MGM, the venerable film studio that controls the James Bond franchise. Indeed, Wiesenthal has become the company's all-around "fix-it" guy: He was the one dispatched to Dubai to negotiate a deal with a deeply indebted Michael Jackson over the music catalog he co-owns with Sony, which controls the rights to many of the Beatles's hits.
Wiesenthal is divorced. His ex-wife, Linnea Conrad, is a partner at Goldman Sachs. They have a son, Richard, named after Wiesenthal's late father. In 2006, Wiesenthal purchased a condo on the 36th floor of One Beacon Court for $4.61 million. (The building is also home to one of Sony Music's top artists, Beyoncé.) He also has a home in Sagaponack; the dealmaker is a fixture at Hamptons functions.