In a February 2007 interview for the PBS series CEO Exchange (PDF) Sony’s CEO Sir Howard Stringer said one of the first jobs he had to do at Sony was “reach out and get people to collaborate with each other.” Sony was too vertically integrated, he said. He had to break up the vertical “silos” to better serve the increasingly digital world. It’s two years removed from those remarks but Stringer is finally getting some of the changes he sought.
Following Yahoo’s restructuring announcement yesterday, Sony announced a major reorganization of its own today. Effective April 1st, there will be two new business groups and a reworked organization chart.
“Consumers want products that are networked, multi-functional and service-enhanced utilizing open technologies, and user experiences that are rich, shared and, increasingly green. This reorganization is designed to transform Sony into a more innovative, integrated and agile global company,” Springer said in a statement.
The first of the two new groups is a Networked Products and Services Group. This organization will house Sony Computer Entertainment (Playstation platform), mobile products (including MP3 players), Sony’s personal computer offerings and Sony’s Media Software and Services organization.
Increasing convergence and integration of the group’s different products is expected.
Kazuo Hirai will lead the Networked Products and Services Group as EVP of Sony and Group President. He will also remain president of Sony Computer Entertainment where he oversees the Playstation gaming platform. Kunimasa Suzuki, will be Deputy President of the group.
The second group to be added in April will be a Consumer Products Group. It will include Sony’s TV, Digital Imaging, Audio and Video business channels. Hiroshi Yoshioka, currently president of Sony’s TV business, will run the group. Semiconductor business lines will also report to him.
Further supporting the new organization, will be a Common Software and Technology team to help coordinate development across different groups and manage R&D.
Supply chain will be handled by a separate Logistics and Procurement group.
Finally, as part of the new changes, Sir Howard Stringer will add the title of President to his existing CEO and Chairman roles. Current president Ryoji Chubachi will become Vice Chairman.
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