Sony CEO taking charge of product strategy

With Sony (SNE +1%) TV sales remaining soft and its smartphone ops facing tough price competition from Chinese Android vendors, CEO Kazuo Hirai has decided to take direct responsibility for the electronics giant's product development/strategy.

Officially, Hirai has been named Sony's Officer in charge of UX (user experience), Product Strategy, Sales & Marketing Platform. Four existing Sony departments - its business development division, UX/product strategy group, brand strategy department, and sales/marketing group - will be transferred to Hirai's unit.

Separately, Reuters reports Sprint and parent SoftBank (Japan's #2 carrier) both plan to sell Sony's next-gen Android flagship, the Xperia Z3. Neither company has sold a Sony smartphone to date. Sony has a solid presence in the Japanese smartphone market, but has struggled to make headway in the U.S., where Apple and Samsung dominate the high-end.

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Comments (2)
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (7620) | Send Message
    The long-term future of TVs within SNE remains uncertain, at least that's how I read putting Bravia into a subsidiary. That move will transparently show Bravia's numbers.


    4K TVs will get better margins for now until they too become commoditized.


    Fortunately, the deep losses of prior years are gone in the TV unit:


    "The new TV manufacturing and sales unit, called Sony Visual Products, launches on Tuesday with around 750 employees.
    If the TV business doesn’t turn around, Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai has indicated that the company may explore an outside partnership, although he doesn’t see a complete withdrawal from TVs as “realistic” considering the hefty costs of pulling out.
    By splitting off into a unit, Imamura says he’s given more authority and freedom to act flexibly and swiftly to changes in market conditions. Having learned from last year, he adds the company will likely be able to withstand fluctuations in emerging market currencies without falling into the red.
    For the fiscal year ended in March, Sony’s TV business logged an operating loss of Y25.7 billion ($254 million), though that was smaller than a loss of Y69.6 billion a year earlier. The losses have gradually diminished over the past few years as Sony took steps such as focusing on higher-margin TV models to dissolving a joint venture with Samsung Electronics to allow it to buy less-costly panels on the open market."

    30 Aug 2014, 10:16 AM Reply Like
  • Jbgoose
    , contributor
    Comments (3244) | Send Message
    (SNE) turnaround is one of the most under reported double digit profit rides this year. And still they have a far way to go IMO. The TV unit moves are bigger than understood by most, the music and media divisions remain powerful players respectively and they continue to develop products that 'could' break out in the nearer term future. Certainly well made products that will be used globally. One of the better 1-3 year plays in class.


    Like the thoughts of Tales on this article. Not sure if you have, but dive into recent transcripts and filings for more details re the new lean and mean TV strategy. Sony must remain involved for general business purposes/ but they don't need to play the margin game if and when they don't want to.
    2 Sep 2014, 12:15 PM Reply Like
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