Sony announces new mobile chief

Ailing Japanese electronics giant picks Kunimasa Suzuki to lead mobile unit, overseeing development of all Sony consumer products and services to unify company's lineup.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

In another major executive reshuffle, struggling Japanese electronics giant Sony has picked Kunimasa "Kuni" Suzuki as the new president and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications, replacing Bert Nordberg who will become chairman of Sony Mobile Communications' board.

Sony said in a press statement Wednesday that the mobile business, including smartphones, tablets and PCs, was one of the company's core electronics business areas. In addition to looking after mobile, Suzuki will oversee planning and design of all Sony's consumer products and services, with the aim of "strengthening horizontal integration and enhancing the user experience across Sony's entire product and network service lineup", it said.

Suzuki, who is also the corporate executive officer and executive vice president of Sony, will become its mobile chief come May. 16. He will be based in Lund, Sweden and Tokyo, Japan, the statement added.

"Kuni has a vast experience in product planning and management in the information technology and mobile product business, as well as experience of cultivating business in emerging markets," Kazuo Hirai, Sony president and CEO, said in the statement. "He is a strong leader and the right person to oversee Sony Mobile Communications as we establish a new business structure as "One Sony" intended to reinforce and accelerate our overall business management."

Suzuki's new role comes just a month after Sony paid US$1.47 billion to buy Ericsson's half of the Sony Ericsson joint venture--which got renamed Sony Mobile Communications--as it suffers continued losses. Nordberg, the exiting mobile chief, was previously from Ericsson.

It is also the second major C-level executive reshuffle that Sony has undergone. It earlier said in February that Hirai, Sony's consumer head, will become president and CEO, replacing Howard Stringer.

Of late, other Japanese electronics companies have similarly seen leadership changes and business strategy shifts, as they attempt to cope with heavy losses. Panasonic named a new president in February, while Sharp last month said it issued some 121.65 million new shares to Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn which will becomes its largest shareholder.

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