The Welshmen Leading Sony's Corporate Fight Back

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 21, 2006 | Go to article overview

The Welshmen Leading Sony's Corporate Fight Back


Byline: By DAVID WILLIAMSON Western Mail

The future of the Sony Corporation rests in the hands of a pair of Welshmen. Sir Howard Stringer, chief executive, has charged fellow Oxford graduate Andrew House with leading the relaunch of the beleaguered brand. Mr House, who made his name as a pioneer of the hugely successful Sony PlayStation, becomes global chief marketing officer and will carve out a new identity for the multinational, which employs around 158,000 people.

Products such as the Walkman made the corporation one of post-war Japan's greatest global success stories. Yet a failure to exploit its strengths and join up the manufacturing and entertainment wings of the empire has made the first years of the 21st century among the most difficult in its history.

Sir Howard and Mr House are determined Sony will dominate the fast-emerging market for high-definition technology. The Welsh facility in Pencoed, which the chief executive visited last week, will be the only location outside Japan where the next generation of broadcast and professional camera systems will be manufactured.

Sony's resurgence may well depend on a successful launch in November of the delayed PlayStation 3, featuring Sony's Blu-ray DVD player. The strategy is that the product will allow Sony to dominate the gaming market while establishing Blu-ray as the industry standard for high-definition home entertainment.

The first batch of Blu-ray movies were released in the United States yesterday, with titles including 50 First Dates, Hitch, House of Flying Daggers, and The Fifth Element.

The format is said to have quality five times better than standard DVDs. Sony Pictures will start releasing its mighty back catalogue on Blu-ray, and support has been pledged by Paramount, Lionsgate, New Line, Warner Home Video and Disney. …

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