Kunimasa Suzuki will become the president and CEO of newly formed Sony Mobile Communications on May 16th: http://bit.ly/HtKbXX
We won a frosty pint bet on this one.. Suzaki-san moving from PlayStation to mobile makes perfect sense, the relationship goes back a few years, now lets sit back and watch the action over the next 24 – 36 months! [Eds]
TOKYO (MarketWatch) — Sony Corp. tapped one of Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai’s top deputies to run its newly formed mobile phone business, a key facet of the company’s efforts to regain its footing in the consumer electronics industry.
Sony picked Kunimasa Suzuki, who oversees planning and design for all of Sony’s consumer products and services, to become president and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications, which was created this year after the Japanese electronics maker bought out former joint venture partner Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson of Sweden.
Suzuki replaces current CEO Bert Nordberg, who will become chairman of Sony Mobile. The changes will take place on May 16.
After forming the joint venture with Ericsson a decade earlier, Sony paid EUR1.05 billion to take full control of the mobile phone business this year. Sony started to see its lack of control over its mobile phone operations as one of its weaknesses in competing against Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.
The acquisition allowed Sony to pursue a unified “four screens” strategy – targeting smartphones, tablets, personal computers, and televisions. Suzuki, who already oversees the PC and tablet businesses for Sony, is also the head of a new division formed by Hirai to create a common look and feel for Sony products.
While Hirai is focused on halting the losses at Sony’s struggling television business and streamlining the company’s operations, Suzuki will be counted on delivering growth by upgrading the company’s line-up of smartphones and tablets – two of the fastest-growing segments within the electronics industry.
Under Nordberg, Sony Ericsson shifted its line-up from feature phones to smartphones. The company also adopted Google Inc.’s Android platform for its smartphones with little success so far. Sony Ericsson accounted for just 1.8% of the market last year, according to research firm Gartner.
Nordberg, who came from the Ericsson side of the venture, pushed Sony to assume full control of the business, saying that mobile phones were now more aligned with the Japanese parent’s business portfolio.
Suzuki, who will be based in Lund and Tokyo, will strive to halt losses at the mobile phone business. In its final year of operation as Sony Ericsson, the venture posted a net loss of EUR247 million citing intense competition that pushed down prices.