Sony CEO pledges “revival”

April 12th, 2012

Sony Corp. Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai has outlined a turnaround strategy which will have the company focusing on mobile devices, games and digital imaging. BU’s School of Management professor N. Venkat Venkatraman offers the following comment:

“Sony is part of a pack of companies that are struggling to make the transition from the age of standalone consumer electronics companies to the age of interconnected products and services for the media and entertainment world defined by the Internet – especially mobile and social web. This new world is defined by design and software.

“Sony has had a long, impressive history with design but its competency has been on industrial design that relied on either proprietary software (PlayStation) or other’s software (Microsoft Windows). Apple won with an integrated point of view (design + software) and Samsung and others are competing with industrial designs of phones and telephones -a lbeit on other’s software (e.g., Google, Android).

“Sony lacks the scale of Samsung. It lacks the cost edge of Samsung and HTC. It needs to develop a vision of media and entertainment to rival Apple and deliver it at a price point that is acceptable to the growth markets (India and China). I believe that they should anchor their strategy around video games and target the young in the growth markets – where it still has strong brand pull.

“The world of connected TV is just beginning and Sony could still define and capture a profitable segment.”

Contact Venkatraman at 617-353-7117; venkat@bu.edu

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