By James Wells

SYDNEY: President and Electronics CEO of Sony Corporation, Dr Ryoji Chubachi, addressed over 500 Australian retailers this morning, providing an insight into the future of the Japanese brand.

Dr Chubachi, visiting Australia for the first time since taking control of the company with Sony Corporation CEO Howard Stringer, presented an outline for the high definition future of the company.

Dr Chubachi told the audience that when he took over his new role 12 months ago, he realised that Sony needed to be turned around.

“Sony was losing ground to competitors and becoming less innovative. Many people were saying that Sony was losing its cool. It was my top priority to rejuvenate the company through the electronics business.

“To be the global leader, you have to fight every day to win the hearts, minds and support of customers around the world," he said.

Chubachi said that he conducted a complete review of his business during the first three months in his new role.

“We found our products were failing to address the needs of customers. Sony’s historical success has been in technological innovation and an approach to design, but our development was lacking a focus on innovation. Our company’s engine was out of sync with the changing market conditions.

“Although we have a long way to go, we are making steady and meaningful progress. 2006 is the 60th anniversary of
Sony’s founding. We are launching new champion product and clearly demonstrating the strength of a new Sony. I am confident that we are on the right track for Sony’s leadership position.

“Changing a company takes time. I don’t expect everything to fall into place overnight. We need your voice to guide us to work as one. Sony will not win this battle without your help.”

To open the event, Dr Chubachi kicked a signed football into the audience, which represented the company’s newly-signed sponsorship for the FIFA World Cup which commences in 2007.