The CEO of Kazuo Hirai has acknowledged that Sony didn’t respond quickly enough to changing market conditions resulting in the Company losing billions now the Company is banking on their new 4K TV’s to save the Companies consumer electronics division from being sold off.
This is despite the fact that brands such as Samsung and LG are significantly outselling Sony TV’s at retail stores in Australia.
In Australia Sony executives are refusing interviews after the Company sacked 50 staff earlier this year. They are also still reeling from being hit by the Australian tax office more than $30M in back taxes and penalties.
Last week Sony resorted to giving away a PS4 gaming consoles in Australia in an effort to build sales of their struggling TV’s.
After announcing another $1.3 billion loss for the fiscal year ended March and a $490 million loss for the current fiscal year, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai is now out spinning the Company’s fortunes.
“We must acknowledge that out steps to take action had come much too slowly,” he told reporters at the Japanese entertainment and electronics giant’s Tokyo headquarters. “We are going to fully complete our structural reforms.”
Hirai’s vision of Sony’s turnaround centres on key technologies such as image sensors, cloud-based services and wearable devices.
He stressed that although Sony’s electronics business was basically stuffed with little chance of success up against both Korean and of late Chinese offerings in the TV market he said that Sony was doing well in other areas such as finance, which includes a bank and insurance services, and entertainment, which boasts a successful “Spider-Man” film franchise and the PlayStation 4 video game machine.
He denied the company will sell or pull the plug on its money-losing TV business.
Hirai, said he was banking on 4K TVs, which deliver better image quality than current high-definition digital TVs.
Earlier this year, Sony said it was selling its Vaio personal computer business. Restructuring charges, dealing with inventory and other costs related to that sale is weighing on Sony’s results this fiscal year.
Hirai said no more major job cuts or other sales were in the pipeline this fiscal year. What remains to be done is seeing through with the plans calling for a leaner Sony, instead of backpedalling as it had done in the past, he said.
When asked whether he will resign to take responsibility for the red ink, Hirai said he sees his main job as getting the reforms done, so that Sony doesn’t have another year of losses.
“My challenge is to see this through, and that’s the best way to respond to everyone’s expectations,” he said.
One change for Sony will be that it will stop reaching for market share and will instead focus on solid profitability, said Hirai.
Hirai became the head of Sony two years ago, when it was in even deeper trouble, racking up the worst losses in the company’s history.
Hirai and other Sony executives reminded the crowd that Sony’s past success rested on its strong engineering to deliver innovative products that helped define a consumer lifestyle.
“That Sony spirit remains part of our unchanging DNA,” Hirai said. “But we must not be afraid to change what needs to be changed.”