By Chris Nicholls
TOKYO: Sony’s ‘Mr Bravia’, Takahashi Fukuda, has been removed from his position as head of the company’s television department, replaced by former Audio division head Hiroshi Yoshioka in a bid to drive profits.
A Sony Japan spokesperson said the move was designed to stimulate growth in the television section and help return it to profitability more rapidly.
“This forms part of a number of moves we’re making to strengthen our TV business. It’s commonly known that we haven’t yet been able to return into the black, which we had hoped to achieve this year, but moving into the next fiscal year [today in Japan] we are making a number of moves, including our partnership with Sharp, which is part of our overall strategy to strengthen our dealings going forward,” he said.
“Rather than being any reflection of any one individual’s performance, Yoshioka-san, who’s recent success in turning around our audio business … and previous success in Sony Ericsson in Japan as well … [meant] he was considered the right man to take our TV business forward.”
He said Fukuda would remain in the Consumer Products group, but would not say in what capacity, other than to say his expertise would “hopefully continue to be of benefit to the group.”
Fukuda’s departure follows recent comments made to the media that Sony may have focused too much on large, higher-end televisions to the detriment of their smaller, bulk selling sets.
Fukuda started at Sony in 1967 and spent most of his career in the UK and Europe, moving to the US in 1999 before returning to Japan in 2005 to head up the Television department.