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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
New Management Structure For Sony, CEO to Keep Charge Of TV Operations

Sony just unveiled their new management, intended to establish optimized decision making processes as "One Sony" and accelerate the company's overall business management.

The changes are effective April 1, 2012.

Under the leadership of Mr. Hirai, Corporate Executive Officers Masaru Kato, EVP and CFO, and Tadashi Saito, EVP and CSO (Chief Strategy Officer) will oversee the Sony Group's overall financial management, corporate and business strategies.

With respect to the electronics businesses, in addition to Mr. Kato and Mr. Saito, Shoji Nemoto, Corporate Executive Officer and EVP who will oversee technology strategy, and Kunimasa Suzuki, Corporate Executive Officer and EVP, who will oversee product strategy, will take key roles in the management team that will support Mr. Hirai and work together with the heads of each business group, platform and headquarters function.

Sony is positioning digital imaging, game and mobile as the three core pillars of its electronics business. Sony also plans to accelerate its efforts to drive innovation and new business creation.

Mr. Nemoto will implement a process of stringent selection and focus in the area of R&D, to enable the company to optimize resource allocation. As Officer in charge of the User Experience & Product Strategy and Creative Platform, Kunimasa Suzuki will assume responsibility for planning and design in relation to all consumer related products and services, with the aim of strengthening horizontal integration and enhancing the user experience across Sony's entire product and network service lineup.He will also oversee the mobile business that Sony has identified as one of its core electronics business areas, including smart phones, tablets and PCs.

The Home Entertainment Business, including the TV business, which is continuing to address the challenge of enhancing profitability, will be overseen directly by the CEO, Mr. Hirai, who will also be Corporate Executive Officer in charge of these businesses. Hirai has been outgunned in recent years by rivals like Apple and Samsung Electronics. The maker of Bravia televisions and Vaio laptops expects a 220 billion yen ($2.7 billion) net loss for the year to this month, a fourth straight year of losses, and due in large part to a TV business that has not been able to keep up with nimbler and cheaper rivals.

Sony's new home entertainment division replaces the consumer products and services group that Mr. Hirai had led.

Sony will also form a new unit to oversee its medical business, which it has described as a growth area.

The company's device and semiconductor businesses, an area where Sony is excelling with its image sensors and other device technologies, and the core device R&D activities which support these businesses,will now be led by Tomoyuki Suzuki.

Sony has been scrapping production capacity for several months, moving closer to Apple's "asset-light" business model of keeping design and product development in-house and outsourcing manufacturing.

It said last week it was selling part of a chemical products subsidiary, while in December it agreed to sell its near-50 percent share in a liquid crystal display venture with Samsung Electronics to the South Korean company.

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