Vodafone KK, the struggling Japanese unit of the world’s largest mobile company, has recruited an executive from electronics icon Sony known for his ability to read consumer trends. The Sankei Shimbun daily quoted a Sony executive as saying Nozoe, 56, was “the man who knows consumer trends best in Sony”, will become senior executive vice president of Vodafone KK as of September 5 and from October will head the marketing unit dealing with subscribers, Vodafone said late Monday.
Vodafone lost nearly 200,000 subscribers in the five months to May before a modest 5,300 rise in customers in June. It has said that it will try to reorient itself to young, tech-savvy customers in the cutthroat Japanese market. Nozoe, who went to work for Sony in 1972, was assigned to a US subsidiary in 1986. He eventually spent about 14 years in the United States, taking part in electronics, entertainment and other operations.