Advanced Television

Confusion at Sony?

January 9, 2012

With the all-important CES show opening in Vegas there will be plenty of eyeballs watching for electronics giant Sony’s latest announcements, and whether non-product news confirms what’s happening at the top of the troubled company.

One big question is whether Sony will continue its retreat from the TV manufacturing business. There are question marks over Sony’s approach to super-thin OLED screens. Sony once pioneered OLED, and first rolled out an OLED product for consumers back in 2007, but they were – and remain – expensive.  Interestingly, both LG and Samsung appear to be firmly behind OLED for consumer products which in itself suggests that Sony simply cannot maintain what it needs as a profitable margin on its products.

That speculation continues over the role – or otherwise – of top boss Sir Howard Stringer. Japan’s financial press is full of reports that Sir Howard is stepping aside, not helped by massive losses in some divisions, and that Kazuo Hirai (currently head of Sony’s consumer product division) will head up the business from April. Sir Howard will, say the reports, focus on the Chairmanship.

Sony will only say that it has made no official announcement or decision – which is perhaps naive in the extreme given the amount of media speculation the gossip has generated. Hirai has been very much on display this past year.

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