Monday, September 19, 2005

Sony Looks for New Ways to Play

With a highly anticipated company shake up expected this week, The Los Angeles Times profiles Sony's efforts to remake itself in a digital era. Michael Goodman at Yankee Group said, "For a period there, they defined the consumer-electronics space. They were the quintessential electronics. Their name personified quality. They were a heck of an innovator."

This week new chief executive Howard Stringer is expected to announce some new changes that will hopefully break down the barriers and improve collaboration between the company's variosu divisions.

Rick Doherty at Envisioneering Group said, "There has been a tall curtain between what the entertainment people want and what the consumer electronics guys want Howard's lowered the curtain several times, but there's still a very big cultural difference, and Howard understands this. He'll work slowly to lower the curtain further over time, but he knows it's not the easiest thing on earth."

In the area of digital music, the article noted Sony's past mistakes that have undermined its efforts. Goodman mentioned "the most galling flaw in the music players was the lack of support for MP3 files" which was done to satisfy the company's music divisions. "That's an example of the internal backbiting and fighting … that led to bad decisions," he said.