New Sony CEO vows return to prominence

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai outlined his turnaround for the company, with a focus on its core consumer electronics division

Sony's new CEO wants to bring back the magic.

Kazuo Hirai, who became head of the company two weeks ago, said Thursday he would revive the foundering electronics giant with a renewed focus on the hit products that made its legacy.

"Our goal as Sony is to become a company that offers products and services that inspire our customers," he said to a packed press conference at the company's Tokyo headquarters.

The normally mild-mannered executive spoke forcefully, often raising his voice and holding up a clenched fist, as he repeatedly said he had faith in the company's employees to enact a turnaround. The iconic company has faced unrelenting criticism in the local press in recent months, with prominent newspapers and magazines running headlines such as "Farewell to the Legendary Sony."

Hirai outlined his corporate strategy days after Sony said it likely lost US$6.4 billion during the fiscal year that ended in March, its largest annual loss ever. His plan emphasizes growth in the company's core electronics division, with a focus on gaming, smartphones, and digital imaging.

"I absolutely believe that Sony will change," he said.

The executive spoke mostly on a broad, corporate level during his talk, but specifically addressed the company's lack of a hit product in recent years, a period when rivals like Apple and Samsung have had repeated runaway hits. He said he had heard hundreds of ideas for new products and services from company employees and would streamline Sony's research and development divisions.

Hirai's plan calls for a reduction of global head count by 10,000, or about 6 percent of its total workforce, during the current fiscal year. Some 3,000 of that will come from spinning off its chemical business, with the rest to be determined.

Some portion of the job cuts will come from its struggling TV business, which has lost money for eight straight years. The executive has said he will personally lead a return to profitability in the division and reiterated on Thursday, as he has often done in the past, that Sony has no plans to abandon televisions, which it mainly sells under the Bravia brand.

"Televisions are at the center of the household, and as a product are an important, core part of Sony's DNA, so the business will continue, especially as a return to profitability has come into view," he said.

Sony is due to release its official earnings for last fiscal year on May 10.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?